Differences Between Preaching and Teaching

A teacher, like in a Sunday school class, will try to get the students to ask the questions and he will not give them all of the answers; he expects them to study and find them. Like Jesus when He taught, a good teacher asks them questions when they are asked a question. The pastor does no such thing from behind the pulpit as there is no feedback from the congregation during the sermon, at least
not during the message anyway. Pastors can have the gift of teaching but not every teacher can be a pastor. The office of a pastor is not a gift; it is a calling, first and foremost from God.

For the pastor, there is an overwhelming feeling of “You can do nothing else but preach.” Paul felt this in writing “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” (1st Cor 9:16b). For Jeremiah it was like this: “If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot” (Jer 20:9). Another difference between a pastor and a preacher is that a teacher might not qualify for the pastorate. They might not be called by God.

They might have never been ordained and called by the church. They might not have that inward calling. Is it Teaching and Preaching?
The teacher might not go verse-by-verse in expository teaching…instead, he may be focused on one theme or teach on a certain topic, subject or chapter. A preacher can do that too but the preacher’s main text is always the Bible. It will be focused on the Word of God while the teacher tries to focus on a lesson within the Bible. Preaching is effectively preaching the Bible, from the Bible, and about the Bible.

A teacher will focus on the content, stories, or characters within the Bible. The Greek word for preaching is kērussō and it means “to herald” and that is considerably different from teaching as you can read in 2nd Tim 4:2 which says “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” Teachers don’t typically reprove, rebuke, or preach (herald) the word in a class, so as you can see, teaching and preaching are not the same things at all. Some pastors have teachings in their preaching but teachers don’t have to preach in their teaching if that makes sense.


Clearly, there are differences between teaching and preaching but the preacher may teach but the teacher never preaches. They are both necessary for the church to grow in the faith and knowledge of the word so the body of Christ can
“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ [and] To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity” (2nd Pet 3:18).

Article by Jack Wellman

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2 thoughts on “Differences Between Preaching and Teaching”

  1. For the record I was ordained a teacher/preacher. I was a teacher of bible five days a week in chapel and preacher when I was in the pulpit. Not meaning to split hairs but just wanted to clarify his position.

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