Preaching and Teaching are Different

Preaching and Teaching are Different

Last week, I made a YouTube video called God Has NEVER Called Women to Preach. Many have responded to me and told me that I preach, which I do not, and that preaching and teaching are the same things. They are not!

I love God’s Word. I knew instinctively that preaching and teaching couldn’t be the same things. As I have been reading through the book of Matthew, God made clear to me that they are different. We are told that John the Baptist preached. “In those days came John the Baptist, PREACHING in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1, 2).

Then we are told that Jesus preached. “From that time Jesus began to PREACH, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus later ordained His disciples to preach. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to PREACH” (Mark 3:20). We are also told in Matthew 12:41 this: “The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the PREACHING of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.” Jonah preached repentance in Nineveh.

So we see that Jonah, John the Baptist, Jesus, and His disciples preached. How do we know that preach and teach are different? We know by this verse in His Word: “And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to TEACH and to PREACH in their cities” (Matthew 11:1). God clearly distinguishes between teaching and preaching in His Word and so should we!

In Timothy 4:2, the Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop (elder) of Ephesus. God commanded that he preach along with all of the male elders (“husband of one wife) in the churches.

The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines “preaching” this way: “To discourse on the gospel way of salvation and exhort to repentance; to discourse on evangelical truths and exhort to a belief on them and acceptance of the terms of salvation. This was the extemporaneous manner of preaching pursued by Christ and His Apostles. (Matthew 4, 10 and Acts 10, 14).”

The same dictionary defines “teaching” in this way: “To instruct; to inform, to communicate to another the knowledge of that of which he was before ignorant.”

God has given men the command to preach. There’s not one place in the Bible where women were given the ministry of preaching since they are to be silent in the churches and they are forbidden from teaching men. Jonah, John the Baptist, Jesus, His Apostles, and the Elders of the churches have been given the ministry of preaching. They spoke in front of crowds of people and exhorted them to repentance and belief in Jesus Christ, as are the Pastors of the churches called to do these days. Women have nowhere been called to do this nor does the Bible refer to one woman who “preached.”

I don’t preach. I TEACH women biblical womanhood as God commands in Titus 2:3. I have never stood in front of a crowd and exhorted them to repentance and belief. I teach women to become godly woman as God has commanded that I do. Yes, I share the Gospel at times but I don’t preach it. I’m not standing in front of a crowd of people preaching and I never will. Feel free to share the Gospel with your neighbors, friends, strangers, and family, but this isn’t preaching. Women aren’t called to preach.

Why do I care about this so much and why have I made such a big deal about this topic? Why do I want you to know the difference between preaching and teaching? Because I want to warn you about the many female preachers and try to explain to you that what they are doing is wrong. God has never called women to preach as many women do these days. He has called older women to teach younger women biblical womanhood. That’s it.

Most women’s Bible studies are using female preachers’ study books which means that most women’s Bible studies support female preachers. These female preachers have no problems standing up in front of crowds and preaching to men during church gatherings. We should do nothing to support what God has condemned. Women are called to be silent in the church gatherings, learn in all subjection, and it’s shameful for women to speak in the churches (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35). They are not to teach nor have authority over men because Adam was created first, proving that men are the ones that God has ordained to be in authority, and Eve was deceived, proving that women are more easily deceived (1 Timothy 2:12-14).

As women, let’s stick to doing what God has commanded that we do. Let’s stop learning from female preachers. Let’s learn from God ordained male preachers of the Word. Let’s learn biblical womanhood from older women who have the experience and wisdom behind them. Let’s trust God at His Word and believe that His ways are best for us.

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105

22 thoughts on “Preaching and Teaching are Different

  1. Thank you Lori for explaining the difference because I quite honestly couldn’t figure out the difference. I’m still a little fuzzy on the difference between the two. I love my Webster 1828 dictionary. I heard about it from Nancy Campbell.

    Our women’s Bible study just finished a study done by Dr. David Jeremiah on Revelation and I never do women’s Bible study at church.

    Now they are doing a DVD series and presented by several popular female Christian personalities. I decided not to do the study after researching several of them and found that some teach men in their churches. Unfortunately the women will be doing a sequel to this current dvd series in the spring so I won’t be doing that on either.

    I’ve come to realize that there will never be a teaching on Biblical womanhood. I had hoped to suggest that we at least do a study on Biblical hospitality because many ladies are intimidated by the subject but that won’t happen either.

    So getting back on topic, I appreciate what you wrote today and now I’m getting a better understanding of the difference between preaching and teaching.

    Thank you again!

    1. You’re welcome, Regina. Watch my video that I linked in my post and it may make it less “fuzzy” for you!

      It’s very sad that very few Women’s Bible studies actually teach what God commands women to teach other women. Imagine how much stronger marriages would be if they did, how much more modest women would dress, and how much more women would learn to enjoy and be keepers at home with their children. The Church has become weak because women aren’t doing what God has called them to do.

      1. Hi Lori, I’m with you on not teaching over men. But where in the bible does it say women must only teach other women how to be godly wives and women? As far as I know there is nothing preventing women from teaching other women about books of the bible in general, for example.

        I’m seeking wisdom in this area as I’ve struggled to find the truth without becoming legalistic or licentious.

        1. God is clear in Titus 2:3-5 on what He wants older women teaching young women. If He didn’t care what women taught women then why would He be so specific here and if one of the reasons that women aren’t to teach or be in authority over men is because Eve was deceived, then why could women teach other women the Word of God? I believe this is why God is specific on what He wants women teaching women and most female Bible teachers teach everything but biblical womanhood.

  2. There are ladies days or seminars in our churches which have women speaking on a specific topic (usually pertaining to a women’s issue biblically or looking at a Bible story in some form or another). No men are allowed in the rooms at the time (even any recording being done has to be done by a woman). Years ago I got in front of a group such as this and spoke. If I so choose I have the opportunity again but would like to know your thoughts on it.

    1. My opinion isn’t popular or common on this topic. If the older women are teaching the young women biblical womanhood, I am all for it since this is what God commands that women teach other women. However, when they veer from this topic onto other doctrines in the Word that don’t pertain to biblical womanhood, then I begin to have a problem with it and here’s why. If one of the reasons that God doesn’t want women teaching other men the Bible is because they are more easily deceived, then why should they be teaching other women the Bible, especially with no elder oversight? Almost every single female Bible teacher becomes a preacher eventually, then has not problems with teaching men in church gatherings. It’s a slippery slope from what I have observed.

      Now, in our church, if a woman leads worship, prays, gives announcements, and shares her testimony but doesn’t preach, I won’t leave the church. I’m not thrilled with it since it seems that many churches ignore the admonitions for women to be silent in the churches and that it’s shameful for them to speak. I much prefer men do all of the leading, praying, speaking, and even announcements as clearly shown in 1 Corinthians 14.

      Therefore, M, this will have to be your own conviction whether or not you speak to this group or not. I would have no problems speaking to a group of women about biblical womanhood but beyond that, I wouldn’t feel comfortable. I would even share my testimony since it surrounds my rebellion to God’s Word in being a wife and how learning God’s way for women has transformed me!

      1. hi,

        mom & grandma taught us girls to stay home with our kids. Dad & granddad ran the church & preached. I don’t remember any Bible study’s when i was young, it was all regular revival type church services, but the couple of women’s teas I went to recently for mothers day were nice, we had a dinner & then talked about women raising their kids to serve God, & sang a few songs.

        In my dads church all the children sing songs. some kids got out of it, but I was the preachers daughter, I didn’t have a choice. When I got older I learned piano & lead song service. The only way I got out of singing in church was a sore throat.

        Thanks
        God Bless

  3. Thank you Lori. I hadn’t put myself forth to be a speaker at any of these events recently because I had come to the conclusion that I believed older women should do the speaking and there are still many women older than I am. But not all the speakers are older and there isn’t a lot of insight given either. Sometimes with the best of intentions there is wrong teaching like birth control other than the pill being a choice without regard to God’s plans for the womb.

    They do teach on women’s issues such as modesty or a Bible story pertinent to women but nothing I can recall that are above a third grade level of intellect.

  4. Over the past several years I’ve attended BSF Bible study fellowship…but in the most recent years, God has impressed upon me that things have really changed with this organization. Their initial rules with where that they did not promote studies outside of what they would recommend. They happened to many female pastors…I feel compelled that I should step away and even out of their leadership program. I want to honor God!

    1. I attended BSF for a year. A woman stood behind a pulpit and preached the Word of God. There was nothing about biblical womanhood taught the entire year. I am not a fan of these types of things since I don’t see where they are biblical.

      Years ago, we attended a week long conference held by the Pearls and I learned more from them in that weekend than I did from all the Women’s Bible studies and conferences combined that I ever attended. Debi did one short session with only women about her book on biblical womanhood and Michael taught through the book of Hebrews. I went home and listened to all of his teachings through many books in the Bible. We both learned SO much and are so thankful for their ministry.

  5. Let me tell a story about the Church in the Middle Ages. Saint Dominic estabilished a religious order in the beginning of the 13th century. We know them as the Dominican order but their official name is Ordo Predicatorum which means Order of Preachers because their mission was to preach against the Albigensian heresy. The founding documents establish that the order was founded for two purposes: preaching and the salvation of souls. Later they take a huge part of the missions in America and Asia too.

    There have been nuns in the Order of Preachers since 1206. What do you think what do they do? Do they preach? No! They live enclosed and dedicate themselves to a life of silence, prayer, and penance. The nuns have been the prayer background of the male Dominicans since 1206. And the male Dominicans have helped the sisters too: the friars serve as their confessors, priests, teachers and spiritual mentors.

    Dominicans don’t marry but nuns live as help meets and friars as leaders in this spiritual way. I find it beautiful how the Church of the Middle Ages did understand what the Christians of the XXI. century can’t, or don’t want to… the beautiful roles of men and women.

    1. Your comment reminded me that women are commanded to have meek and quiet spirits, too. They are also commanded to be shamefaced, not draw attention to themselves. These are traits that female preachers lack. They don’t realize how much they are going against God’s Word when they get behind pulpits and preach.

  6. I know I have said this before, but thank you! Your ministry to women encourages me to stand up and lead my family, as a follower of Christ. I am blessed with a wife who also encourages me to lead our family. This is not about having things my way, but God’s way. I continue to be bombarded by liberal “Christian” messages that emphasize egalitarian views, but scripture speaks so clearly against such a view. My wife enjoys the security that comes with knowing that she is following God’s design rather than the world’s design. Please continue to teach truth to women. It seems so rare these days, but God’s word will not return void.

  7. Hello Mrs. Lori! I’ve not read this whole article but I’ve already had a couple of thoughts. First, I’ve never viewed you as a preacher. I’m not sure how anyone can make that judgment call. Second, if preaching and teaching were the same thing, wouldn’t all teachers be preachers? I used to beca third grade teacher and that’s what I tell people. I’ve never said I used to preach third grade. That’s dumb.

    Some might say preachers can only preach about the Word of God and not math, science, language Arts, etc. Then why when someone makes a point about something (even non-biblical things) do we say, Preach it Sista!!!!! So society uses the word preach in various situations but obviously knows preaching is different than teaching or all teachers would be preachers. These people are just trying to be so mean against you. I’m so glad you don’t let them stop you from TEACHING the truth in a gentle way. I will always stand by you.

    1. Thank you, Melinda. When people have asked me what I do, I have never answered, “I’m a preacher” because I am not. I am thinking they just want to use this against me as they do with many things.

  8. Lori (My VT2),
    TEACH IT!!!!! TEACH IT!!!!!! TEACH IT!!!!!!! GOD IS USING your TEACHINGS in many ways in my sphere of this earth! And I know I don’t stand alone! God is to be praised for allowing you to have this platform for many younger women! Truly, you are giving me the confidence in the Lord through His Word to stand boldly for my highest calling – to love my husband and nurture my children! WE ARE BLESSED WOMEN!!!! You are prayed and loved from a far! I also pray your husband has recovered from his Lyme issue.

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