Preaching or Teaching?

What is the difference between preaching and teaching?

I have had a lot of discussion in church about whether a particular person was preaching or “just teaching.” What is the difference?

For some of the more “spiritual” churches, the concept appears to be that you are not preaching until you get into “high gear.” (Compare to a car with a manual transmission and the process of shifting from 1st to 2nd to 3rd gears.) That concept places teaching into a lesser category.

  1. So, here are some discussion starters for you.
  2. How do you define “preaching”?
  3. How to you define “teaching”?
  4. What is the difference?
  5. Who does God direct to “preach”?
  6. Who does God direct to “teach”?
  7. Is the CONTENT of preaching different from teaching?
  8. Is the STYLE different between the two?
  9. Are teachers called like preachers?
  10. Was Jesus a teacher or a preacher?

Here is a video of a 1-year-old. Is he preaching? Teaching? What?

I published a similar article some time back: http://chiefshepherd.com/2008/01/what-is-preaching/

Let us hear from you in the comments section below.

Note the NUMBER of the item you are responding to (or add your own issue related to this topic.)

This entry was posted in Controversial, Technique and tagged , , , by Ray. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ray

Ray Waldo is a retired pastor with a passion for sharing knowledge, understanding and (if possible), wisdom with everyone he meets. Prior to his retirement, Ray served as a local pastor and teacher to five different churches in two states. He also served as a short-term missionary, teacher, and crusade speaker to groups in Mexico, Kenya, Uganda & the Democratic Republic of Congo (while Congo was still in conflict). Ray is also a widely recognized teacher, writer and public speaker. He was the top-billed speaker to groups of over 10,000 people when he visited Africa. He is currently writing two books (online) that he expects to be published within the next two years.

14 thoughts on “Preaching or Teaching?

  1. To address your question is the STYLE different. I think that a minister's delivery STYLE has really effected our definition of preaching and teaching. From my experience people consider preaching to be “proclamation” and teaching more “explanation.” I find people think “proclamation” is more emotional and energetic, while teaching has a more conversational tone. In all actuality you will find it both proclamation and explanation in the majority of sermons. Whether a minister considers himself a preacher or a teacher, the goal is normally the same, and the label is a result of the persons own personality, giftings, and culture.

  2. To address your question is the STYLE different. I think that a minister's delivery STYLE has really effected our definition of preaching and teaching. From my experience people consider preaching to be “proclamation” and teaching more “explanation.” I find people think “proclamation” is more emotional and energetic, while teaching has a more conversational tone. In all actuality you will find it both proclamation and explanation in the majority of sermons. Whether a minister considers himself a preacher or a teacher, the goal is normally the same, and the label is a result of the persons own personality, giftings, and culture.

  3. Jonathan Edwards was known for his very unemotional speaking style, reading his manuscripts, however it is reported he filled the altars. Gipsy Smith virtually the same…move England. As a 'God called pastor'…I feel strong anointing while teaching and watching the reaction of hearers as they absorb. My church up-bringing is in the South (N.C.) however my first 18 years were in the Pacific North West. I know the emotional preacher well, and up until a few years past have not heard a strong teacher. Billy Sunday Meyers was a strong teacher in N.C. with emotion, but great content while James Poe Jackson was the emotional preacher that God used in a mighty way which I witnessed many times. Scripture says that a pastor must be a teacher. A strong job..as “Telling is not teaching, and listening is not learning”…and the Pastor needs much patience with the flock in the teaching end…they often desire the emotional preaching that is like gas on the fire rather than a dry oak log that lasts all night in the fireplace. Just thoughts.

  4. Jonathan Edwards was known for his very unemotional speaking style, reading his manuscripts, however it is reported he filled the altars. Gipsy Smith virtually the same…move England. As a 'God called pastor'…I feel strong anointing while teaching and watching the reaction of hearers as they absorb. My church up-bringing is in the South (N.C.) however my first 18 years were in the Pacific North West. I know the emotional preacher well, and up until a few years past have not heard a strong teacher. Billy Sunday Meyers was a strong teacher in N.C. with emotion, but great content while James Poe Jackson was the emotional preacher that God used in a mighty way which I witnessed many times. Scripture says that a pastor must be a teacher. A strong job..as “Telling is not teaching, and listening is not learning”…and the Pastor needs much patience with the flock in the teaching end…they often desire the emotional preaching that is like gas on the fire rather than a dry oak log that lasts all night in the fireplace. Just thoughts.

  5. In secular education, St Augustine is often considered to be somewhat the “father” of modern education. One of the concepts of modern educational psychology points to Augustine. It is not a direct quote but a summary of some of his ideas… “All learning is the result of conflict.” Do you agree? How does this concept play in your view?

  6. Excellent post! This does not sound like the young man I knew 6-7 years ago. <grin> I see teaching as primarily intellectual while preaching is primarily emotional. However, any teaching that does not involve the emotions is DRY – DRY – DRY! And, any preaching that does not involve some educational elements is just fluff and trite clichés.

  7. In secular education, St Augustine is often considered to be somewhat the “father” of modern education. One of the concepts of modern educational psychology points to Augustine. It is not a direct quote but a summary of some of his ideas… “All learning is the result of conflict.” Do you agree? How does this concept play in your view?

  8. Excellent post! This does not sound like the young man I knew 6-7 years ago. <grin> I see teaching as primarily intellectual while preaching is primarily emotional. However, any teaching that does not involve the emotions is DRY – DRY – DRY! And, any preaching that does not involve some educational elements is just fluff and trite clichés.

  9. Pingback: What is preaching?

Leave a Reply