Do I Tip a Pastor for Counseling?

Most of us in America tip people who provide some type of service, such as a waiter/waitress or hairdresser but what about a pastor?  Whether you are/are not a member of their church, most pastors do not charge for their services.  This does not mean that you ignore any act of appreciation.  A tip is a way to show your appreciation for services given.

 

It is customary, especially for those who do not attend their church, to provide a small tip or gift card.  NOTE:  If you attend their church, most pastors believe counseling is a part of the service they provide to their members.  No tip is expected.  The amount of tip may vary due to the length of service given to you.  As a minimum, we recommend a $20 cash gift or perhaps a gift card at a local restaurant. 

 

Presenting a tip to a pastor may seem awkward.  We usually suggest saying something like, “I would like to show my appreciation of your time and advice you have given me.”  Some people prefer placing money or gift cards in a “Thank You” card, but this is not necessary.  Some pastors may gently refuse the gift.  This is not an intention to embarrass or make you feel awkward.  Most pastors are so accustomed of giving to others they often feel awkward of accepting gifts.  You could say, “Nevertheless, I wanted to show my appreciation”, smile, and walk away saying “Thank You!” 

 

If they are insistent on not accepting your tip, please pick up your tip, smile, and say, “Thank You!”, then exit.  NOTE: Please understand that your act of kindness by offering a tip and saying “Thank You” may be enough gratification this pastor needs.

We hope this outline provides a helpful guideline for tipping a pastor.     

 

                                                                             Pastoral Care Staff      

 

 

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