Power Of Pain: Leadership, Business Development, Community Building and the Black Church

Discipline yourself, or face the consequences.  According to Bishop Noel Jones of the City of Refuge Church, in Gardena California, in order for us to accomplish anything worthwhile in life, we have to be willing to sacrifice the pleasurable, but unnecessary things of life so that we can put our focus on the painful, but vital things that are required for building value.  For example an olympic athlete must focus all of his attention on perfecting his skill.  He also has to sacrifice many of the world’s pleasures such as excessive eating, drinking, partying and the like.  Not only that, the athlete has to practice for hours on end, daily, which can be quite painful.  There’s an emotional pain and a physical pain, but the end result is a highly disciplined performer, ready to compete at a higher level than the vast majority of the world’s athletes.  So the pain of discipline costs alot but gives a high value. 

On the other hand we have those who are unwilling to discipline themselves.  And those people get to experience the pleasures of the world, such as cheesy pizzas, creamy mashed potatoes and buttery sweet potato pies.  Or crisp and sizzling bacon strips with a side of deep fried chicken and waffles swimming in Log Cabin syrup.  Delicious!  But we know that a lifetime of that type of excess will lead to clogged arteries, high cholesterol, diabetes and other illnesses, not to mention weight gain–the pain of consequences–which quite possibly can lead to death.  In life there will be pain, either the pain of discipline or the pain of consequences.


We have talked at length about those in the church who would destroy it with their own hands.   We’ve talked about the prosperity preachers, the pulpit pimps and their pimponomics.   We’ve talked about those scandolous tricksters parading in muscle tees—manipulating our greed and weakness.  We’ve even talked about the impending death of the black church.  All of these types of leaders are undisciplined in the way Jesus would have them to be.  They are focused on themselves and not on Jesus.  And each one of them will fall into the pain of consequences, one way or the other.

It’s now time to talk about building the church as Jesus told us.  Who are the true leaders and builders of the church, and how are they leading and  building?  What models are they using and to whom are they accountable?  Bishop Noel Jones brilliantly teaches our church leaders the importance of being disciplined, of being a disciple of Christ.  Of embracing the pain of discipline, in order to gain the glory of helping Christ build His church!  

The Bishop teaches about the importance of business development in our black communities, and how the church is in a position to facilitate this, he teaches pastors to stop being  so autocratic and humble themselves, as Jesus did, in order to build a team of gifted servants with the different talents that are crucial for church and community development.  He teaches about thinking outside of the box and being creative, just as Jesus was.  Christ is the model in all that we as Christians do, whether we are leaders in the church or not, because as Jesus taught, we all are servants within the Body of Christ.   Now, if we can follow Jesus’ lead, we will be successful in all that we set out to accomplish for Him.


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