Q & A: SOMEONE ASKED: “WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PREACHING AND TEACHING?”
What is the difference between preaching and teaching? One of Britain’s and the world’s finest Bible scholars and linguists said this (and I think it is the clearest and best distinction that I have ever read or heard): “Preaching is the uncompromising proclamation of certainties; teaching is the explanation of the meaning and significance of these certainties.”
I would add two things to this. First, that teaching the significance of “these certainties” includes teaching when and how application of these certainties can be made to our lives. Secondly, I would suggest that another distinction between teaching and preaching is that there is a discernible (by the preacher and the hearer) heart-felt passion present in preaching that is not in present during the teaching experience.
Preaching and teaching are separate ministry gifts of the Holy Spirit possessed by every man divinely called into the gospel ministry (most especially pastoral ministry) will. A true pastor will demonstrate and develop competency in the exercise of these gifts and will wisely and diligently perform the task of a nutritionist and dietician in feeding the flock of God (Acts 19:28; 1 Pet. 5:2).
The exercise of the gifts of preaching and teaching is indispensable to identifying men whom God has truly put into the ministry. Paul said that God had enabled him before He put him into the ministry. He said: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Tim. 1:12).
The need has never been greater than it is today for genuinely God-called, Scripture-filled, Spirit-filled pastors who can and will preach and teach truth. (See Matt. 3:1; 4:23; 9:35; Mark 1:4; 16:15; Acts 15:35; 1 Cor. 1:18-21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; 4:2).