Q: Briefly describe your childhood growing up in Nigeria and what led you to surrender your life to Christ.
A: I grew up in the middle belt of Nigeria, where my dad served as a government employee. I heard a song on the radio one day when I was about 8 years old saying, “I will proclaim the death of Jesus on a tree to people all over the world.” I was so moved; tears welled up in my eyes. The song would come to me again and again until I got through high school. I gave my life to Christ soon after I got into college. I have not forgotten the song. In fact, I am living the song now.
Q: Early in your ministry you became passionate about teaching others how to achieve success by doing things God’s way. How did the Holy Spirit birth that desire in your heart?
A: I had experienced some frustration on some ministry initiatives, so I was praying to the Lord to know what to do. He said I should teach people biblical success principles. I asked how I could teach people to succeed when I wasn’t successful yet. He said it was His command and not my achievement that gave me the authority to teach. I began to share on radio the principles I had discovered in my bid to change my circumstances. Things had been tough for my family when my dad’s business had a setback. Also, it took me a long time to get a job as an engineer after I left college. The radio broadcast was an instant hit. I didn’t realize that multitudes were going through the challenges I had been through. We added seminars and a TV broadcast later.
Q: Can you share a personal story of how you practically applied Kingdom principles to your life and experienced supernatural results?
A: The Holy Spirit taught me the power in our imagination, that whatever thoughts are established there will attract or produce their material equivalent in our lives. When I pray, I expect thoughts from Him. I also put the picture of a car on the wall in our bedroom where I could see it daily. The money was provided in a way that astounded my wife, Nike, and me. So I do it always now. Sometimes, I travel to beautiful places to dream. Jacob placed spotted rods before plain colored animals and they produced offspring with spotted skins. Prayer and meditation in God’s word remain the primary means for stimulating my imagination. I have experienced phenomenal progress in all areas of life changing the inner pictures.
Q: Why is it so important for believers to boldly stand on God’s promises and model success to the world?
A: There is a lot of despair in our world now. People need God desperately. However, they cannot recognize Him. Our lives are the epistles they can read. Our faith in God and unending hope for the future, and the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises inspire the unsaved to put their trust in the Lord.
Q: In 1995, you founded Daystar Christian Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. Describe how the church is impacting your country by training a new generation of Christian leaders.
A: We developed an extensive training system in the fourth year of our church, to train church members to function as ministers. We believe this is the New Testament pattern. It resulted in our church multiplying about ten times in size within two years. The Holy Spirit made me realize He had helped us to solve a leadership problem, which is a cultural factor in Africa. He asked me to develop a curriculum from our experiences and to teach them. We founded the Daystar Leadership Academy, which has trained close to 40,000 people in entrepreneurship and leadership. They are doing amazing things in Nigeria and around the world.
Q: Each week on Daystar people across the world watch your program, Excellent Leadership with Sam Adeyemi. What can new viewers who tune in expect to experience?
A: Our passion is to teach God’s principles in a way people can apply them to their lives. We emphasize “how to” messages rather than “ought to” messages. Viewers should expect to know practical steps to take to improve their lives when they watch our broadcast. We encourage people to cultivate excellence and to influence their world for good through service, and that is leadership. They should expect to strengthen their personal walk with the Lord.
Q: You’re known for saying, “When you build the man, you can change the world.” What does that statement mean to you?
A: Israel expected Christ to lead an insurrection against the Roman government as a political leader, but He was preaching instead. He knows that our world doesn’t really change until people change. That is why the Church’s work of seeing people saved and becoming mature disciples of Christ is the greatest mission in the world.
Q: Define the single most important thing every believer needs in order to become a better leader.
A: I believe it is for us to be influenced by the Holy Spirit. Kings had to be anointed in the Old Testament. Pharaoh testified that Joseph had unusual wisdom because he had the Spirit of God. Christ instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Spirit. The Holy Spirit births the character and competences of Christ in us, giving us capacity to love, serve, and influence people for good.
Q: You often post encouraging tips to inspire success on social media. If you were to sum up the secret to success in one simple sentence, what would it say?
A: I would say it is for you to hear God and to obey Him. If you do, you will have character, you will love others, you will have a dream and goals, you will have a strategy, you will take action, and you will be persistent. You see, you may not know all the principles of success, but if you obey God you will find you are applying the principles already. God’s principles never fail.
Q: Based on recent news reports, tensions among Christians and Muslims in Nigeria remains heated. How can believers around the globe pray for the people impacted by violence and conflict?
A: Believers around the world should continue to pray for God’s protection for all Christians in areas prone to persecution, especially the northern part of Nigeria. They should also pray for God’s help for the government to defeat the terrorist groups that have displaced 2 million people from their homes and from their means of livelihood.
Q: Describe the ways Daystar Christian Centre reaching out to help families and communities devastated by tragedy.
A: First, we take care of our own. Our policy is to ensure nobody goes to bed hungry in our congregation. We have a benevolence unit and our small groups system that take care of distribution. Also, we partner with some organizations that work at the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Recently, we entered into partnership with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to cater for IDPs within Nigeria and around the world.
Q: What does the future hold for your ministry as you continue empowering others to lead and succeed in life?
A: We continue to refine our life development process to be more effective in transforming people into the likeness of Christ, thereby fulfilling our vision to raise role models in society. We trust God to increase our impact with the expansion of our outreaches at our physical locations, leveraging technology online and through the media. We also look forward to making greater impact through the various schools we have established including our elementary school, the Daystar Skill Acquisition Program and the Daystar Leadership Academy.