Saturday, November 06, 2010

What is it: preaching or teaching?

In the last years I have heard what I do on Sunday morning as "teaching" more often than "preaching". In fact, it seems as if the two terms are used synonymously. Are they synonymous? Is preaching actually teaching and teaching preaching? The greek distinguishes between teach (didasko) and preach (kerusso) as to impart information and to announce a fact or truth.
My take on this shift from preaching into teaching is the loss of mystery in worship. Worship is about feelings and emotion in the music and facts from the pulpit with a charge to go and do something. Mystery does not fit these neat categories. Mystery goes its own direction and is not always practically applicable. Mystery does not fit into three points, an outline or action steps. It's really hard to measure mystery.
At its best (which I seldom approach) preaching ushers worshipers into mystery by unleashing the Word of God and letting it run. It takes on a life of its own and goes to unexpected places. It brings a holy encounter with the God who cannot be touched. It creates awe and wonder.
I love to teach. I teach the Bible on Tuesday nights and Confirmation on Wednesday nights. But on Sunday, Lord help me preach.


At 2:43 PM , Blogger Diana said...

Oh, so well said - and so important to say it.

At 1:41 PM , Blogger Isaac Johnson said...

Made me think of how Rabboni is used (http://dictionary.babylon.com/rabboni/)

At 7:48 PM , Blogger Brad Boydston said...

There is at least some teaching embedded in good preaching -- teaching which highlights the mystery but does not diminish it. Occasionally some good preaching breaks out in the midst of teaching, too -- that is, if teaching moves beyond head knowledge.

At 7:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the truly gifted pastor can do both well and even at the same time. Now THAT'S a mystery.


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