They Wanted to Preach to the Choir


I serve on a leadership council for an organization. In a recent meeting, one of the members suggested that to spread the word on an issue of concern, one of us should spend time with a specific talk show host that is known to have views common with this organization.


I may have been overly direct but I commented that while it might make us feel better, most of the audience likely shared the same view.  We would not be spreading our message, just getting some “amens” from those who already share our view.

Singing Youth Choir

I further suggested that while this action may make our group feel endorsed, it did little to share the view and information with people that might be interested or needing to learn more.

Growing up in rural Bear Creek, Alabama, this sharing an opinion with people that already accept it was often explained as “preaching to the choir.” There is nothing inherently wrong in this action, just don’t expect it to produce much in the way of new results.

We cannot spread a message or idea by keeping it to ourselves or within a small group. Is there risk in leaving the comfort and support of those that share our view? Sure, at least some risk if you struggle with rejection, questions, or have built your self-esteem on always being right.

If you want your idea, product, service, or company to grow, you’ll have to venture out into the world. The choir of your business and life probably already “gets it”, but with that alone you’ll not see much develop or grow. Just like birds and children, your ideas need to leave the nest to really grow.

Glenn S. PhillipsGlenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself.  You can email Glenn directly at

Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.

© Copyright 2012. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111


About the Author

Glenn S. Phillips works with leaders who want to leverage technology and understand risks within. An author and blogger, Glenn is often quoted in national media, plays a really ugly tuba (it even has a bullet hole) and is a fan of dark chocolate and great puns.