By unSeminary: Welcome to this week’s unSeminary podcast. Today we’re talking with Pete Briscoe, who served as the senior pastor for nearly three decades at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, Texas, and now consults with and coaches pastors.
He is with us today to talk about growing communication skills to improve preaching as well as how we can find deeper fulfillment in our work and lives.
Coaching church leaders. // While at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship, Pete recognized that he would cycle through ups and downs where he would do really well when they were in the middle of building something new, but then would become very restless and bored with normal day-to-day ministry. This internal struggle was something that Pete largely battled alone, feeling like many people couldn’t understand or weren’t safe to share with. As the highs became higher and the lows lower, Pete made a decision to step down from his position to get help. He asked himself, “Can I do this role and be a healthy person at the same time?” and ultimately decided it was time for a change. After he stepped down from the senior pastor position, Pete and his wife decided to sell their house, purchase an RV and head to the mountains. They now drive around the country, going to different cities and working to coach and consult with church and business leaders.Success vs fulfillment. // Pete takes a look at self-care and communications when coaching church leaders. One of the things Pete discovered on his own journey is that there is a difference between the engineering of success and the art of fulfillment. The success side of leading can be more of a science – we do certain things and the Lord blesses it and it tends to work, but we may still be left with a lack of personal fulfillment inside. Fulfillment is more of an art which is individual and personalized. There are spiritual, relational, and generosity factors involved.Dream about the future. // When it comes to self-care, Pete spends a day with church leaders in order to walk through what their life looks like now, and what’s broken and stuck. He asks questions about what’s working and what needs to change, go, or stay. From there Pete helps his clients spend a lot of time dreaming about the future and what they want their life to look like. Many pastors tend to think that they will spend their whole lives in church ministry and don’t think about what comes next. So Pete helps people sort through these conflicts and feelings and plan for the future. Then Pete helps them put together a life plan to get there.Uncovering who we are. // Who pastors really are can get lost in the persona we create. It is appropriate not to share everything with the whole body of believers, but that also creates a slightly different person than who we really are. In time, who we really are gets lost in that bigger public persona. In Pete’s conversations with pastors, he draws out this knowledge, asking: What’s real about you? What’s not? What’s going on behind the scenes that no one else knows about?Improve communication. // Pete also helps pastors apply communication theory and pragmatic communication to preaching. As people become better communicators, it helps them to become better preachers too. Pete is also launching a course to help pastors grow their preaching skills. A two-hour session helps leaders learn how to craft a gripping message. Part of the course includes working on a sermon and then recording its execution so that Pete can help pastors tighten up their presentation and delivery.
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