Preaching vs. Teaching

 

 
Download this Media File – (Right Click)


Preaching is the public proclamation of the gospel to the world, and everyone who is born again carries the burden of doing so. Teaching is the imparting of biblical knowledge and the wisdom to apply it appropriately. While it has become commonplace to refer to ministers as "preachers", that has actually created a misconception of the core responsibility of the minister.
In the 3rd chapter of I Timothy and in the 1st chapter of Titus, the Bible contains the only authoritative listing of the qualifications of Bishops (what we know today as Pastors),  and a qualification is an attribute that cannot be absent. In neither of these scriptures can it be construed that a qualification of a Pastor is that he be able to preach. But I Timothy 3:2 lists ‘apt to teach’ as one of the qualifications. While no Pastor should be considered fully, biblically qualified without meeting ALL the qualifications, the focus here is just on teaching. In that sense, a minister who cannot teach is not qualified, according to the Bible, to be a Pastor!
Should a Pastor be able to preach? There is certainly nothing wrong with that, but the more important question is, is it necessary? That depends upon ones definition of "preaching". Exhorting church people to praise and worship God is not preaching. Telling already saved believers that Jesus Christ is a savior is preaching, but it’s unnecessary, since obviously a saved person already knows that. Telling believers what a wonderful thing is was that God delivered David from Goliath, without exposing the underlying spiritual lessons that will aid in spiritual strength and growth, is irresponsible and can even be a waste of the believers’ time.
Once a person has accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior, having repented of sin and received by faith the truths of the gospel, that person no longer needs to be preached to (although it is helpful to be reminded from time to time of the tenets of the gospel and salvation). What the new believer needs is to be taught how to possess his or her vessel in a sanctified manner, what holiness is and what it means to the everyday decisions and actions a person must make and do, how to participate in the encouraging and building of the Body of Christ, and how to express the love of God to unbelievers and win as many as will come to Christ. They need to be taught how to skillfully use the Word when dealing with trials, tribulations and temptations. They need to be taught how to foster a right relationship with God.
None of this is to say that a minister should NEVER preach, even to saved people, but the point is that too much time and effort is spent preaching and not enough is spent teaching, and the result is that there are millions upon millions of sincere believers who lack the knowledge to be effective Christians in their homes, in their churches and in the world. Being "devout’ and "sincere" and "determined" are good traits, but only if one is devout, sincere and determined in the things that are true according to rightly divided Scripture. A person can be sincere, but be sincerely wrong if he or she does not have correct teaching.
Just because a minister can be considered a "good preacher" by his ability to emotionally connect with an audience and inspire them to worship and praise, does not in itself make that minister a good teacher. Spiritual growth does not come by way of praise, worship and emotionally satisfying church service; it comes by way of teaching and the practical application of the Word of God. Both preaching and teaching are necessary to the fulfilling of the Will of God concerning His plan for the salvation of man, but the success of that plan in the lives of individuals is hindered by unlearned millions who profess the name of Christ and yet do not live in a manner that fulfills the purpose for which he was sent.
Finally, there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that God’s people are destroyed from lack of praise or worship or having "good church", (though those things do have their place and should not be taken away) but it does state that, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee." [Hosea 4:6]. Knowledge comes only through teaching. The minister therefore that rejects teaching or does not give due attention to teaching is failing to give due attention to the building of God’s kingdom. The minister who does not understand that there is a difference between teaching and preaching (and what that difference is) is likely not equipped to be a minister, and certainly should not be a pastor!

May God Bless You!

4 Responses to “Preaching vs. Teaching”

  • TimothyW:

    Loved this blog, Yes, you are spot on, alot of Pastors should be very capable teachers of Gods word, but really aren’t. Most ministers and Elders can’t impart a lick of knowledge to save their life, but can hoop and holla to the rafters. Anybody can preach, or exhort the word of God, but the true litmus test of a minister or Elder being worth his weight in the ministry is his ability to impart information.

  • Emmett Bowers:

    I WAS BLOWN AWAY WITH THIS BLOG.. YES! A LOT OF MINISTERS/PASTORS CANNOT AND WILL TEACH. IN MY CHURCH FAMILY, TEACHING IS ASSIGNED TO ASSOCIATE MINISTERS. THE PASTOR IS LEFT WITH WORK LOAD OF COUNSELING. OUR CHURCH IS TRULY BLESSED BECAUSE WE HAVE CLASSES FROM MONDAY THRU FRIDAY. WE OFF COURSES ON THE OLD OR NEW TESTAMENT. PLUS SOME ASSOCIATE MINISTERS SPECIALIZES IN EXPOUNDING ON VARIOUS BOOKS OF THE BIBLE. YES, I DO AGREE THAT SOMETIMES A PASTOR NEEDS TO DEVIATE FROM PREACHING AND DO SOME TEACHING EVERY NOW AND THEN. THANKS FOR THIS ARTICLE

  • bamidele ayo:

    please can you clearly differenciate between teaching and preaching

  • Yes.

    Preaching is publicly proclaiming the gospel of salvation from sin, by grace and through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, to those who either don’t know it or haven’t received it.

    Teaching,on the other hand, is the imparting of spiritual knowledge that helps a person who has accepted Christ to grow and to learn how to walk in the Spirit and live the kind of life that reflects the personality of God and His holiness.