Which is more effective–Preaching or Teaching?

13 Aug

In his book, Choosing to preach, author Kenton Anderson compares the merits of preaching and teaching and finds they have much in common.

“Take the question of preaching and teaching. Many have tried to distinguish between preaching and teaching as if teachers share information, while preachers change lives, but that distinction might not actually be helpful. When someone says, ‘George is a better teacher than he is a preacher,’ we think we understand. When pressed to articulate the difference, however, things become more complicated. It may be George is a little dry in his presentation or perhaps he is lacking in passion. That might leave him deficient in the preaching category, but does it automatically mean the man can teach?

One of the reasons preachers are unappreciated in contemporary culture is that they keep trying to change people’s lives. Teachers are better accepted because they are thought to be benign. The teacher shares information but isn’t concerned about persuading anyone, or so it is thought. Put it like that to a real teacher, however, and see how he or she responds.

Any teacher worth her whiteboard wants to change lives. Great teaching is not solely about information transfer, as if the lecture were a biotechnical cognitive download. There is that, of course, but teachers want so much more for their students. Teachers want to be dangerous. They actually want to change lives–just like preachers.”

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Posted by on August 13, 2008 in Books, Preaching, Quotes


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