This phrase is getting a lot more ‘ear-play’ these days and not just from secularists. Some Christians have adopted this phrase in order to get the hearer to let their walls down so the message will be well received. It also has a negative connotation to it which is that preaching is a bad thing.
If you are trying to soften up the hearer by prefacing your comment with the “preachy” statement, you must realize that no matter how you spin, twist, or sugar-coat your message, it is not your words that are effective but the power of the Holy Spirit lest you should boast. It’s also a subtle form of deception in that you want to give the illusion that you are not preaching, but rather just talking. If you have to disguise the Gospel (or any other Biblical teaching) to someone who doesn’t want to hear it in the first place, then they’re not going to want to hear it when you dress it up. (that is assuming you are preaching the full Gospel and not a watered down version) It’s also very similar to the ‘seeker friendly’ movement in which you entice your audience with only the pleasantries of Christianity until you hook them, then later on get into the meat. In plain terms that is the ‘bait and switch’ tactic.
When did being ‘preachy’ become a bad word in Christiandom? What is wrong with being honest, direct, and truthful? Why do we feel the need to put the Word of God in a pretty package when it is more beautiful on it’s own? In my opinion, if you’re trying to sell the Gospel in a way that is more palatable to the hearer by using this trickery, you are not only deceiving them, but you are doing a disservice to God.
Something to think about.