Preaching vs Teaching

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC δοῦλος, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    372
    A brother made a comment on another thread and suggested that I start a discussion about the topic (he felt it didn't belong on his thread about how to teach a certain book). What came up was the differences in how we treat Scripture if we are preaching compared to an adult Bible study. His comment was that the Bible study is more superficial (a survey) and not as in-depth as a sermon. My experience has been opposite insofar as the depth of study, but regardless of mode it seems that when we approach Scripture we do so on its own terms (which demands study).

    What do you consider to be designed for more in-depth study of Scripture….the sermon or an adult Bible study? How does your adult study approach the issue?
     
  2. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    8,369
    Likes Received:
    105
    Teaching can be more in depth, but in my case since I will only be teaching this topic once and its not exactly a topic I normally would teach as I wanted to teach on Lordship, Calvinism, Evangelism, Apologetics, or Prophecy, I decided to stretch myself into biblical studies. But my topic will be a survey since I won't have the time for a full verse by verses exposition. Perhaps a OT Survey book would better help me and I have one.
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    That is because he doesn't know what in the world he is talking about. Study is study whether you are preparing a sermon or preparing a Bible study. The only difference is how it is delivered.

    If someone decides to study in a more shallow way that has nothing to do with how they deliver it. Someone who fails to study beyond some shallow effort is just simply failing to study correctly.
     
  4. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    8,369
    Likes Received:
    105
    Excuse me????? I am aware of study and fully aware that a SS class can be more in depth than a sermon. However in my case Teaching will be different than preaching, because preaching is a monologue while teaching a dialogue. In our Church SS is not lecture based, but discussion based.

    This may be hard for you and most to understand since most Baptist Church SS teaches just lecture at people in SS while the audience passively listens and do not encourage discussion. Believe me I must have visited close to 30 different Baptist Churches in SS and the dominant format was to lecture at people and call that teaching.
     
  5. Reformed

    Reformed
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    57
    Agreed. The main difference between bible studies and sermons is that the former tends to be more interactive. It allows for questions to be asked and answers given. The person teaching the bible study can go off on slight rabbit trails and then come back to the main point of the study. That is a bit more difficult in a sermon. However both require serious prep time because both are handling the Word of God.
     
  6. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    Agreed, it is only by choice and preference that one studies less. It is also by failure to understand the gravity of handling the word of God.
     
  7. Reformed

    Reformed
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    57
    I'm glad you mentioned this. In my opinion Sunday School, and even bible studies, have been allowed to dumb down the teaching of the Word. There are exceptions. Not everyone can be lumped together. But I have seen individuals who have no idea how to handle the Word being appointed to teach a bible study or Sunday School. I am not a papist by any means. I do not believe that teaching the Bible should be relegated only to trained clergy. But teaching should require a serious commitment, and the teacher should be able to rightly divide the word of truth.
     
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,378
    Likes Received:
    790
    While I agree with you, it is important to remember that this is so because there is no one else in the church. The choice of teacher has more to do with what is available than anything else.
     
  9. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,247
    Likes Received:
    76
    Our pastor spends about 20 hours a week studying for his sermon, and I spend about the same amount studying to teach our adult bible study on Wednesday night

    The difference may be in how much studying everyone else does. The pastor delivers a sermon toward the people in hopes that they take notes, go home and study, verify, question, seek, etc

    I get them to get their bibles open right then and interact with the text immediately. We have tons of questions, and many say they feel like they're in bible school

    Good stuff on both fronts.
     
  10. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    372
    Interesting, I have never experienced this in a Baptist Church SS class. Do you think that this is a regional method for Bible studies or denominational specific (I've mostly been in SBC churches)?
     
  11. JonC

    JonC
    Expand Collapse
    Lifelong Disciple
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2001
    Messages:
    6,982
    Likes Received:
    372
    I have been in churches that advocated shallow teaching in small groups (really…one associate pastor specifically said to keep it shallow so that lost guests and new believers would feel comfortable). Anyway, now I am in a small group that strives to learn the Word of God. We completed Hebrews after several months of study.
     
  12. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,973
    Likes Received:
    129
    Good topic!

    I've never preached before a congregation; try as I might, even in simple congregational prayer my mind freezes up in larger groups :tonofbricks:
    so when I go before the congregation, I write everything out word-for-word and usually just read it.

    Teaching an adult class with an attendance of up to 20 doesn't bother me in the least however.
    I don't feel I need to entertain them or keep them interested with witty stories - they are there because they want to be.
    We try to keep thing real.

    As others have noted, teaching a class provides a bit more fluidity.

    My co-teaching partner and I have three goals in mind when we teach:

    1) searching out the original message of the text

    2) searching for an application of the text

    and

    3) teaching them how to study the bible for themselves (involves repetition).

    We don't always get to each of them in every class.

    It involves class participation.
    Sometimes a keen observation or answering a particularly astute question will take us in a direction we didn't expect.

    Rob
     
  13. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    While Paul mentioned them in the same "breath" so to speak ...
    1 Timothy 5, NASB
    17 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.
    ... I also came across this concept some years ago.

    Preaching is trying to affect a person's thinking by appealing to a person's heart.

    Teaching is trying to affect a person's heart by appealing to their thinking.

    Issues arise that must be addressed immediately. A failing marriage, trouble with teens in the household, addiction, persistent sin. These are emotional issues, and preaching can afford to get emotional in order to reach the same level of fleshly reaction the issue facing the hurting person reaches. It gets to "desire." A person's fleshly desires overrule his/her ability to reason biblically. Preaching "affecting the thinking" can interrupt that cycle better than in-depth study can. Preaching can be from the pulpit, or in one's face.

    But teaching becomes necessary "after the fact." Once preaching has interrupted that cycle, study in the how and the why of the sin and how to overcome it reinforces the emotional reaction to the sermon. Teaching is the evidence behind the preaching's emotion. It clarifies intellectually, rarely becomes emotional, and provides understanding from several different avenues. It provides the grounding the sermon hinted at, but both preaching and teaching, in tandem as Paul indicated, provide the direction to climb out of the pit of sin and basque in Christ's light.

    Make sense?
     
  14. Reformed

    Reformed
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes Received:
    57
    I concur that both preaching and teaching should appeal to the total man. The 19th century evangelist, Charles Finney, embraced the view that preaching is an appeal, not just to the heart, but also to the emotions. Finney, with his anxious bench and salesman like approach to preaching, was highly successful at getting people to make positive decisions for the Gospel. He was so successful that his methodology was adopted by broad evangelicalism and became the most popular form of evangelism in the 20th century, albeit in varied forms. But Finney's methodology has been fraught with serious problems, most notably is the prolific recidivism rate among professors. Finney was aware of this but just couldn't conceive of any solution to the problem the required him to change his entire approach to evangelism.

    Finney's failure was that he did not teach the Word of God. He preyed on the emotions, in order to change thinking, in order to arrive at a desired conclusion. That was the reason why so many people would make their decision for Christ and be like the seed that landed on rocky ground. Finney believed in the shotgun approach. Even if scores were never truly converted, some were, so the ends justified the means. Sadly, Finney's error could have be averted through sound preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

    The truth is that preaching is not an all or nothing proposition; whether it is a Sunday morning sermon or an evangelistic message. Proper preaching includes teaching. In fact you cannot preach without teaching. Preaching, as we commonly use the term, is not always resident in teaching; but that is because we don't understand what preaching is. When Paul told Timothy to "preach the word" (κήρυξον τὸν λόγον, 2 Timothy 4:2), he was literally telling him to proclaim the word. This is done whenever the Word of God is taught. We are proclaiming, or putting forth, the Word; whether it is in the form of a sermon or a bible study. Modern Christianity confuses preaching with a sermon only. Sermons and bible studies are just different sides of proclaiming the Word. Sermons doesn't allow for audience participation whereas bible studies often do.

    If teaching is equal to preaching (proclaiming), then the proper approach is to appeal to the whole person. The person doing the proclaiming does not effect change in the mind of the person receiving the message. That is the pervue of the Holy Spirit alone. So, we should take seriously the handling of the Word of God and keep James' admonition to heart:

    James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
     
    #14 Reformed, Jul 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2014
  15. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    I have seen what evangelist mentioned. But it's moreso in the larger SS classes. I guess after you get so many people in a class, there can't be too much open dialog or else you wouldn't get to teach much and run the risk of losing control of the class. And thus the "lecture" style.

    That's why I like the smaller classes. They can be more personal and everyone seems to get to know everyone else a little bit better and you can actually have more of a discussion about the word and Its application.
     
  16. Zaac

    Zaac
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    13,757
    Likes Received:
    220
    Well said.:applause:
     
  17. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    8,369
    Likes Received:
    105

    Oh no I have seen it many times in small SS classes in SC.

    SBC however are different and nearly all SBC churches of small classes were discussion based. But IFB or BJU IFB typically like to lecture in SS and not have much discussion.
     
  18. JamesL

    JamesL
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,247
    Likes Received:
    76
    I think that's the best way I've ever seen it put. That's the word for the day, imho.
     
  19. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,409
    Likes Received:
    328
    The Scripture passage of 1 Timothy 5:17 was quoted earlier. Teaching and preaching are linked together in that verse.

    So I don't think that there is a bold line of demarcation between the two, i.e. one meant for the heart and one for the head. By the way, in the Bible the English words heart and mind are referencing the same thing most of the time.
     
  20. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    17,114
    Likes Received:
    52
    Isb;t Bible study, such as in a class setting in church/school, suppossed to be more into the full details of the text, while preaching is to highlight the "main issues?"
     

Share This Page

Loading...