For expositors of God’s Word, revisiting early sermons can be an excruciating and embarrassing exercise. Thankfully, pastors H. B. Charles, Bryan Chapell, and Ray Ortlund were up to the task. In this eight-minute roundtable, these three veteran pastors reflect on the ways God has matured their preaching over their many years in ministry.

Charles (pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida) pinpoints two areas in particular that transformed his preaching: growth in his understanding of the gospel and spiritual maturity in his own personal walk with the Lord. 

Chapell (senior pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, and TGC Council member) remembers his early days of only preaching what he calls “systematic lectures” and “practical instruction,” that is, until the writings of Sidney Greidanus changed his understanding of Scripture.

Ortlund (senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee and TGC Council member) talks about his years of preaching clunky academic sermons that did little to apply God’s Word to his congregation. Though diligent in studying the text, he struggled to translate it in such a way that would help people.

While all three have grown in various ways as preachers, watch (or listen) to hear each of these men testify to God’s mercy to them as ministers of the gospel.