My view of the pastorate is a parallel to Traditional Marriage vs Revisionist Marriage. The church is the household of God. And like any household, the church has a marriage in its structure. The Whole Christ consists of our Lord Jesus as the Husband and Head and the Church as his Bride and Body. In a local church, the shepherd and his flock represent this relationship and live out relational dynamics akin to a husband and a wife (among other things). A shift from traditional marriage to revisionist marriage goes hand in hand with a shift from traditional pastorate to revisionist pastorate.
The traditional pastor rules and disciplines.
The revisionist pastor coaches and contains.
The traditional pastor is someone people fear. He’s a reverend.
The revisionist pastor is someone people idolize. He’s a celebrity.
The traditional pastor faces outward in confrontation with the wilderness. He guards the frontline between the church and world. He builds the walls and sets a watch to maintain a haven for his congregation to flourish.
The revisionist pastor turns inward on the congregation. He’s not a fan of confrontation. He’s the president of a country club that’s not especially intimidating to the surrounding community. He’ll manage a lot of programs.
The traditional pastor is a passionate yet self-disciplined warrior-poet.
The revisionist pastor is a professional therapist, motivational speaker, and marketing consultant. And the skills of a schmoozer will carry him a long way.
The traditional pastor builds and maintains the house.
The revisionist pastor moves in later and redecorates.
The traditional pastor takes the risks and puts himself in harm’s way first.
The revisionist pastor just works to make the clubhouse a docile safe space.
The traditional pastor takes responsibility on behalf of his congregants. He’s like Jesus bearing the guilt and affliction of his people.
The revisionist pastor distances himself and does image management. He’s like Adam letting Eve go first and scapegoating her later.
The traditional pastor is a father.
The revisionist pastor is a nanny.
The traditional pastor is a man. It’s blatantly obvious why. And not just a man but a man among men. The kind of man women want and men want to be.
The revisionist pastor could just as well be a woman. In fact, women can probably do the job better. Everything distinctively male about the calling has been castrated off. And the good and lawful substance of the revisionist form plays to the strengths of female agency.
P.S. Please, do not misinterpret any of the deformations or shortcomings in the couplets as parallel or analogous to female agency in the last couplet. I did not say that and do not mean that. These are two separate and overlapping issues. If you have an understandable instinct to look for that error, please note that I am not doing that.