Ministry Strong

If everything really is "bigger in Texas," Bent Tree Church in Dallas is no exception. Thousands attend multiple services at the sprawling campus every weekend. Even senior pastor, Pete Briscoe, is scaled to size, standing 6' 5" with huge hands and a broad, disarming smile. But traditional ministry metrics like size are the furthest thing from Briscoe's mind these days. Several years ago, a period of conflict in the church caused Briscoe to take a hard look at his own life. Ever since, he's led with a new focus and renewed freedom. Briscoe, the son of ministry leaders, Stuart and Jill Briscoe, has pastored Bent Tree for 22 years. Leadership Journal's managing editor, Drew Dyck, sat down with Briscoe to talk about what it takes to get and stay healthy in ministry.

What do you do to stay spiritually and emotionally healthy?

I've been on a wonderful spiritual journey in the last five years. It wasn't a journey from law to grace. But I've moved from a hybrid of law and grace to grace. I've always had a taste of grace, but over the last few years I've decided to bathe in it. And that has been, as far as my emotional and spiritual life, revolutionary.

In the past, I assumed my spiritual health was determined by how consistent I was in my quiet time, or how many books I'd read, or how long I prayed every day. I have been freed from all that. Now I recognize that my spiritual health is about how intimately I'm walking with Jesus.

It impacts every area of my life. Now I look at how open I am with people I love. When I am in the Word, what's really happening? Am I just reading a chapter to check it off or am I really listening to God? When I'm praying, am ...

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