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Preaching coach Dr. Frank Thomas believes great preaching starts with strong sermon structure. He shares how it's done.

Dr. Frank Anthony Thomas has been an ordained minister and pastor for 26 years. He currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

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John E Miller

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Simple, concise and instructive. Good words.

Anthony R. Watson

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Short and to the point. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The problem that I see with "some" African-American Baptist preachers, is that they have spent their lives developing the celebration phase of the sermon while neglecting the other phases that was mentioned. Thus, whooping and hollering has become the norm and this is most unfortunate.

David Jankowski

commented on Aug 25, 2012

I'll give this a try in an upcoming sermon. I tend to use the Hook, Book, Look, Took structure, and I think that's self-explanatory too.

Pastor Sandy .

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Thanks for this - "easy to recall" good points!

Keith B

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Sounds like good points.

Charles Wallis

commented on Aug 25, 2012

I like the structure - I think i need to put more celebration in my sermons since I tend to spend time on situation and complication which may be discouraging. I have also learned hook, book, look, took but don't apply it enough. Most importantly I have learned to start with scripture in sermon preparation and stay with scripture helps a lot with structure, rather than rambling platitudes of "great ideas" I have come up with.

Mark Weinstein

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Sounds like sound advice. To think of it another way, we are story-tellers that must be sure the audience understands all the components of a good story: introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion, and as the great Spurgeon told us, we must always finish at the foot of the cross.

David Buffaloe

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Great points - thanks

Spencer Miller

commented on Aug 25, 2012

I had a seminary instructor, the late Rev. John A. Hall, who would drill it into our heads, he start each class of with these words, "structure, structure, structure" and then he'd say, "let the whooping come naturally if it comes at all, but the most important thing in your sermon is structure". Very sound advice.

Derrick Tuper

commented on Aug 25, 2012

Even though I hadn't thought of your four points like that before, I decided to match them to my most recent sermon. I preached on the fact that we're special to God. The situation: we don't think we're special. The complication: we won't live like we're special. The resolution: scripture pointing to how special we are to God. The celebration: living a motivated and encouraged life. Interesting structure format. Thanks for sharing. I'll be paying more conscientious attention to that when I formulate a sermon.

Ronald Handlon

commented on Aug 29, 2012

This approach is similiar to Paul Scott Wilson's "The Four Pages of the Sermon" Page One: Trouble in the Text. Page Two: Trouble in the World. Page Three: Grace in the Text. Page Four: Grace in the World.

Dan Keeton

commented on Aug 30, 2012

I like this man! Good words and reminders.

Prescott Jay Erwin

commented on Sep 5, 2012

Great advice. I'm looking forward to hearing about the other four mistakes!

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