I don’t know the first time I heard the expression, but I am sure it was at Church. Without an explanation, I knew what people meant when they said it.
The phrase “preaching to the choir” was first used in print in 1973 in Ohio. It is an updated variation of an expression used in England in writing since 1867. They said, “preaching to the converted.” Both mean that someone is trying to convince a group of people of an idea of which they already agree with the premise.
The harsh truth for me is that I spend most weeks preaching to people who are completely behind everything I say. I wish this were not true, but I hope that the people of the congregation, or the converted or choir, would go out each week and tell their non-believing friends what they are learning. They might even invite them to join them some Sunday.
I can only preach to whoever shows up at our worship time. Some weeks I preach to the choir, and other weeks, I preach to the choir’s friends. I consider speaking to every single person an honor and a privilege, no matter their background.
Each week, I walk to the front and begin to preach. I hope my work is not a cliché, but God’s word will make an impact even when it is. Who knows what God may do in the heart and life of someone who hears my sermon? Even a person like you.