Once I really began to understand the ministry of teaching the Word, I found that teaching was different from preaching.
Preaching to me was preaching to people about what I believe they should be doing in their lives. They either needed to be saved, or if they were saved to live right. It seemed I was always preaching at people.
Then when I learned that I should teach the Word as the Word is spoken, that was an eye opener. Was I suppose to know what the text was really saying? Or do I just preach what I wanted and use a text as a proof text, even if I didn’t know really what the text really meant?
Most of the preaching I heard growing up was just that, the preaching was certainly not preaching the text that the preacher was using as a text.
So I remember saying after coming back from the Shepherd Conference in Sun Valley CA. You mean I am to learn what the texts is saying before I try to teach the text? Is that possible I said. Am I to teach or preach the text? That was a good thought? Most of the preachers I knew didn’t believe you should teach but preach. Loud and forceful I might add.
Can I really know what the texts is really saying? Yes. And
Of course we all can interpret the Bible anyway we want to, without fear of prosecution. But yet we should be so careful in our interpretation of the text. I have been wrong for sure, and I am always ready to do more research on the text that is before me.
What I have learned there are always two views to view your approach to preaching and teaching.
I remember saying, I want to know what the texts is saying by what it says, before I make any kind of application to the text. I remember saying how do I learn what the meaning of the text is saying? I found out interpretation requires work. As a matter of fact a great deal of hard work. And more work than you could do on a Saturday night.
When I read 1Timothy 2:15 that was interesting. “Those who labor in the Word.” And in 2 Timothy 2:15 there is this ideal of been diligent in the study of the Word. I was taught that you should not study much in preaching.
Unfortunately that is the case of most of my fellow independent baptist preacher. The study of the Word is not a priority of their time.
Nevertheless I am glad that I had the fortitude to challenge the status gusto of the times and learned how to study the text before I would preach or teach it