The educational system in our country has come under scrutiny. Teachers and students alike have been observed, tested, and analyzed for their efficiency and achievements. Whenever goals have not been reached, committees and subcommittees are introduced to address and define the causes of sub inferior educational standards and accomplishments. Education begins with the educators. If a teacher lacks scholastic integrity, the students will suffer. The teachers must be well versed in their field of expertise. To not understand and believe in what they teach is to put their students at a distinct disadvantage.
The Church is not immune to investigative attention. I believe every Pastor should be held to the highest standards in Biblical education. If they lack spiritual integrity and congregational compassion, their “students” will fail to achieve spiritual growth. It is so tragic to see hungry Believers enter the church building and leave with hunger pains. It is hard for me to understand how a once a week communal service can possibly help the Believer reach the goal of spiritual maturity. What happened to the Sunday night service or the Wednesday Bible study? In place of those Christian staples, “small groups” gather to discuss Christian publications or to just fellowship around cookies and liquid refreshments. If there are “cell” groups, it is essential that there is a strong spiritual leader that can oversee the group and be able to steer them in the right direction. If that is not done, it is like the blind leading the blind.
Jesus ministry centered on PREACHING and TEACHING. I believe that every pastor needs to adopt his ministry around those two foundational principles. Preaching is heralding divine truth while teaching elaborates on those truths.. When Jesus began His ministry, He came preaching “repentance.” In fact that was the foundation on which He would build His ministry. (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:38) Before anyone can receive Truth, he must be willing to change direction (repent), thus opening himself to the teaching that is offered through the Scripture. The commissioning of the Disciples was around this principle. As they went into the world they were told to preach the Gospel and then follow it up with teaching. (Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:19). The reason there is such a lack of excitement in so many churches is because the foundation of repentance has not been proclaimed. How can one understand Biblical teaching when they have not decided to seek a different direction in their daily walk? (Repentance)
After preaching repentance, Jesus entered the Synagogues and Temple teaching. (Matthew 4:23, John 7:14) He taught from a boat, hillside and anywhere that people were ready to listen. PREACHING prepares the hearer, while TEACHING explains the Word. How many times I have seen people leave a worship service just as empty as they entered. How can you blame them? They can’t understand the implication of the Word, unless they have made a conscious effort to change direction! It is one thing to preach on the forgiveness of God, but another thing to teach how we can pass our forgiveness on to others. Preaching deals with absolutes, while teaching deals with application of those absolutes.
When Pastors learn the difference between PREACHING AND TEACHING, they will see a change in the people that they could only have imagined.