The Difference Between Teaching and Speaking

In this blog I try to give my best thoughts on what goes into making an effective talk and an effective, Spirit-filled ministry.

It’s too bad there’s not more training available, but I’m trying to offer some the best I can, so that together we can reach the world for God!

One of the themes that I speak on frequently at this blog is that teaching and speaking are not the same thing. This doesn’t mean that we don’t teach during our talks; it just means that the goal needs to be different. We speak to change lives; we don’t speak to impart knowledge. Now imparting knowledge might be part of what leads them to change; but if you’re not working towards a change, then you’re not really having an impact.

Many preachers understand this, but what they frequently do is to tag an “application” onto the end of what is otherwise a teaching sermon. I don’t think that’s a good solution. I think everything in the talk has to lead people to a point where they’re willing to surrender something new to God, or to take one more step of faith. Some of those things will be teaching points; others will be anecdotes, laughter, tears, or whatever. I’m not saying we should be shallow; not by any means. We have to root everything we say in Scripture. But let’s remember what we’re aiming for. When we can remember that, we’re much more effective.

I’ve written about this a lot, but today I thought I’d let you hear me say it. Here’s another in our continuing series of Speakers’ Tips that I’ll be putting up.

I hope that encourages you!

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12 Responses

  1. This came to me through Twitter at the perfect moment. I will be speaking next month at an online conference but I hunger to speak more! I have signed up for your feed and am looking forward to unlocking the keys to a speaking ministry!

  2. Thanks, Shelia. I haven’t forgotten anything about your talk. In fact, I’m headed out this weekend for a 2 session conference and have incorporated many of the things you talked about in your seminar. My knees are knocking, but not with fear… with anticipation. Thanks so much for all you’re doing to help us along.


  3. Nice new video, Sheila.

    I believe this will be very helpful to many speakers. You’re really stepping out here to provide some excellent resources. Bless you for all your work to make this possible!


  4. Sheila:
    Just wanted you to know I had a great time at my speaking engagement last weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC, last weekend. I did two sessions, the first one being part of my signature talk, the second one more Scripture-based. I also secured tons of addresses just like you taught me! If you’d like to watch a sample clip, here’s the address (the most recent post on my blog):

    No pressure. Just wanted to say thanks.


    • Way to go, Elaine! I love it!

      You all should head over and watch it, too. Elaine’s a gifted speaker! And I love how you were able to speak without notes, too. That captivates the audience so much more, and makes them more inclined to actively listen!

      Congratulations, and blessings on many more retreats!

  5. Maybe it’s the air of confidence that I’m trying to carry around now ;) But I was asked to do another speaking engagement (on encouragement – I’m sensing a theme) at the end of October. This one is for a local group – Celebrate Recovery. I’ll need prayer backup this month for sure!

  6. [...] The Difference Between Teaching and Speaking September 2009 9 comments 2 [...]

  7. [...] Does Giving a Talk Entail? The Difference Between Teaching and Speaking Thinking About Your Audience First Generating Word of Mouth for Your Ministry Speaking Plan for [...]

  8. […] of my posts on the difference between speaking and teaching, you should! Start here, and then read here and here. Our goal should be to inspire people towards going deeper with God, not just teaching them […]

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