Throughout my years of ministry, I have been told that I’m more of a “teacher” than a “preacher.”
As I have asked those folks to explain what they mean, they tell me that they come to the end of the sermon and have a greater understanding of what the Scripture says. They also say that they enjoy taking notes to capture the insights they gain. I have also been moderately surprised by “leaders” in churches who say that my preaching/teaching has caused them to actually spend more time in their Bibles throughout the week, something they had previously been neglecting.
All of this is great. But, as I say so often, the Bible is our ultimate and final authority on what we are to believe and how we are to act. So, even if there are positive results from teaching while I’m preaching, I am bound to do what is commanded in Scripture.
So, what does the Bible say about a pastor who teaches?
I’m glad you asked because it says a LOT! I will end this post with verses from God’s Word that shows me that teaching is exactly what I’ve been called to do.
Matthew 28:18–20 (CSB): “Jesus came near and said to them, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
Luke 13:10 (CSB): “As he (Jesus) was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath,”
Acts 5:41–42 (CSB): “Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name. Every day in the temple, and in various homes, they continued teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”
Acts 11:25–26 (CSB): “Then he went to Tarsus to search for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught large numbers. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.”
Acts 18:11 (CSB): “He (Paul) stayed there a year and a half, teaching the word of God among them.”
Acts 20:20–21 (CSB): “You know that I (Paul) did not avoid proclaiming to you anything that was profitable or from teaching you publicly and from house to house. I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.”
Galatians 6:6 (CSB): “Let the one who is taught the word share all his good things with the teacher.”
Ephesians 4:11–12 (CSB): “And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,”
1 Timothy 3:1–2 (CSB): “This saying is trustworthy: ‘If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.’ An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,”
1 Timothy 5:17 (CSB): “The elders who are good leaders are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”
2 Timothy 1:11 (CSB): “For this gospel I (Paul) was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher,”
2 Timothy 2:2 (CSB): “What you (Timothy) have heard from me (Paul) in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Timothy 2:15 (CSB): “Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”
Titus 1:6–9 (CSB): “An elder must be blameless: the husband of one wife, with faithful children who are not accused of wildness or rebellion. As an overseer of God’s household, he must be blameless: not arrogant, not hot-tempered, not an excessive drinker, not a bully, not greedy for money, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.”
Titus 2:6–8 (CSB): “In the same way, encourage the young men to be self-controlled in everything. Make yourself (Titus) an example of good works with integrity and dignity in your teaching. Your message is to be sound beyond reproach, so that any opponent will be ashamed, because he doesn’t have anything bad to say about us.
Regardless of whether we like “preaching” or “teaching,” the Scripture is clear that teaching is a vital part of what a pastor/teacher (Ephesians 4:12) is called to do.