Among younger pastors, the talk is less about therapeutic and managerial professionalization, and more about communication or contextualization.
The language of “professionalization” is seldom used in these regards, but there is quiet pressure felt by many pastors: Be as good as the professional media folks, especially the cool anti-heroes and the most subtle comedians.
This is not the overstated professionalism of the three-piece suit and the power offices of the upper floors, but the understated professionalism of torn blue jeans and the savvy inner ring.
This professionalism is not learned in pursuing an MBA, but by being in the know about the ever-changing entertainment and media world.
This is the professionalization of ambience, and tone, and idiom, and timing, and banter. It is more intuitive and less taught. More style and less technique. More feel and less force.
If this can be called professionalism, what does it have in common with the older version? Everything that matters. The way I tried to get at the problem ten years ago was to ask some questions. Let me expand that list. Only this time think old and new professionalism.