Ezra Klein thinks the shortcoming in contemporary journalism is not quality writing but quality learning. He says, “We are too focused . . . on journalism as a universally applicable skill set. We do not demand enough subject issue knowledge from journalists” (skip to 69:35 here to listen to that).
He goes on to describe writing as the tip of the journalistic iceberg. There is a whole superstructure supporting it that nobody ever sees, made up of sources and bodies of knowledge.
The same is true of pastoral work, of course. Your sermon, your youth retreat plan, your hospital visit: they are all the tip of the iceberg. You are constantly adding to the part beneath the surface–new ideas, new interests, new questions, many not remotely theological or pastoral.
If we work on only the skill sets that people see, our work won’t be as hefty and interesting as it could be.