f there’s anything a youth pastor knows—even after only a few months in ministry—it’s that fatigue and feelings of burnout come with the task. The constant pressure from parents, youth, church leadership, the senior pastor, and even his own family can wear a minister out very quickly.
Added to this stress is the continual expectations to meet certain numerical standards. The most frequent question that I get is, “How many?” It sometimes becomes a plague and burden—tempting you with pride (wow, I attracted a ton of youth tonight!) or despair (nobody came . . . and nobody will come next week either). It’s no wonder that the average youth minister stays in one location less than 18 months!
Do many Catholics follow their appetites and “sin that grace may abound,” hoping that confession and the last rites will even it all out before God? Sure. And do many Evangelicals do the same, hoping that a repeated prayer or an altar-call response will deliver them in the Day of Judgment? Yes. Both paths lead to the same place: to hell.
Perhaps I am a wishful thinking bibliophile, but I just don’t think the physical book is going the way of the dodo bird. No doubt, many scholars and students will house parts of their reference libraries on an electronic device. Some frequent flyers will stick books on their tablets instead of in their brief cases. And some techno-geeks will conclude that everything is better on an Apple product. I’m sure ereaders will make inroads. They serve a useful purpose. But only to a point.