Self-concept is cognitive in nature; self-esteem is attitudinal. The self-concept is the picture of the self, whereas self-esteem is the attitude one has as related to that picture. Part of one’s self-picture might be the image of preacher – a functional role that is performed in ministry. Different preachers have varied feelings about that self-image, however. Some talk about the preaching function of ministry with delight and joy and feel good about that aspect of their vocation. Others speak about it with a sense of frustration and anguish and feel quite negative about that dimension of their professional identity.
Both self-concept and self-esteem are important in the preaching process, and each relates to both congregation and preacher, since both pastor and people carry self-pictures and self-feelings. However, many writers believe that self-esteem may be the more important of the two.
Self-esteem is a complex value judgment that persons make about themselves. This complexity can be understood by examining some process that are related to self-esteem.
Wells and Marwell distinguish between two main processes – evaluation and affection. Self-evaluation and self-affection constitute two types of self-esteem which result from diverse forms of positive experience – relationship formation and achievement success. The two primary focuses of personal esteem are power and worth, or status and acceptance.
When self-esteem is thought of as self-evaluation, it refers to worth in a utilitarian, or instrumental, sense. From this perspective, a person is viewed as a purposive instrumental, sense. From this perspective, a person is viewed as a purposive instrument and is evaluated in the same terms as any other implement. An assignment of some judgment – such as good or bad – is made on the basis of an object’s usefulness and/or accomplishment (e.g., the whole person, an ability, a personal characteristic, a behavioral style). The level of self-esteem is rooted in personal achievement and recognition. The principle of achievement underlies this understanding of self-esteem.