I arrived in Kiev, Ukraine for the first time on Monday 5th November 2016. I was asked by friends and associates, out of all the countries in the world why travel to Ukraine?
My reply was simple, to learn how to further maximise my potential!
I was adamant to travel to Eastern Europe to participate in the annual History Makers Training (HMT), which was conducted by national transformer and pastor, Dr Sunday Adelaja. I couldn’t afford to miss this opportunity; so couldn’t many others who arrived from Canada, United States, Nigeria, and Australia just to meet the man of God in person.
Now, I feel that I should share with you a number of life-changing lessons I learned from the training and Dr Sunday Adelaja.
1. Leaders build leaders
True leaders develop leaders. I discovered that Dr Sunday Adelaja actually derives pleasure from raising leaders. He has positively turned around the lives of thousands of people, majority of them regarded as down-and-outs, are now highly successful in a wide range of fields, such as politics, business, media, ministry and education. During my visit, it was inspiring to hear testimonies from individuals whose lives were totally transformed and now thriving independently. Dr Adelaja is adamant on raising up ‘Sons’, self-sufficient believers who can subdue their area of calling.
Lesson: Don’t just create followers, create leaders.
2. Turning losers into influential high achievers
One of Dr Sunday Adelaja’s greatest gifts is the ability to empower and transform people’s destinies. I heard from a reliable source that, “anyone who stays around Dr Adelaja for a substantial time is bound to become successful.”
In my short time there I found this to be true, it appeared the norm for his congregants to establish successful Non Governmental Organizations (NGO), or to become highly influential public figures. I was awe-inspired to learn that he raised 200 millionaires for real. But what impressed me the most was the speed it took to transform lives; we heard so many testimonies of individuals bound by drugs to becoming highly respectable people in a matter of months.
Lesson: Tap into the anointing of successful destiny changers to help you succeed.
3. The Power of self-education
One section of Dr Sunday Adelaja’s book collection
During the History Makers Training, Dr Adelaja urged us to add value to ourselves through self-education. He revealed to us that he dedicates 3-6 hours a day on self-education. I got a chance to look at one of his reading rooms which consists of the books he has read from economics, ministry, management, and countries; it was really fascinating to see that the books were truly studied judging by the underlining and annotation inside them.
Lesson: Never stop developing yourself.
Another great lesson I took away from the History Makers Training was the power of intensity. Being a participant of this training you had no choice but to work with a sense of urgency. There was no room for complacency for the fact that we were all bombarded with so many assignments and workshops that you couldn’t afford to snooze. We were all pushed to be decisive, think critically and work with speed.
Lesson: Don’t waste your precious time on unproductive activities.
5. High standards
Those surrounded by Dr Adelaja are encouraged to live as ambassadors of God, to be good examples in the society. This was part of his explanation for high standards of excellence. We heard an incredible story from one of his assistants that explained how one young man (21-year-old) asked Dr Sunday Adelaja for his blessings, to marry a woman in his congregation. The young man was advised to prove his readiness for marriage including the means to take care of a woman. The determined young man hearing this, went away for one year and built his house, became mature in the Lord and established financial stability. So this sums up his push for high standards.
Lesson: Build your own capacity for high standards and sustenance.
6. Driven by love
On my second day in Ukraine, I went with my fellow HMT participants on facilities visit to orphanages, rehabilitation centre and fatherhood centre. It was clear that Embassy of God is focused on influencing lives beyond the four walls of the church. This trip helped me to realize the importance of living a life that blesses others.
Lesson: Part of feeling fulfilled in life is demonstrating God’s love in tangible ways.
Visiting the orphanage.
I got the sense that everyone at Dr Adelaja’s established church, Embassy of God lives purposefully, and missionary minded. Stagnation was not welcomed. Everyone I had a chance to speak with was goal orientated; they had their days planned out meticulously. Each member was taught to find his or her calling and dominate it. We had an excellent testimony of women who created successful games to bring Christian principles into family lives. Everyone truly had a mission.
Lesson: Live everyday on purpose.
8. Work ethic
One of my newest emulation in coming to HTM is that I need to raise my gear relating to work ethic. Before, I thought I was hard working until I met some super hard workers. I learned the importance of working and maximising every minute of my day and not wasting time. Six days in this training felt like two months simply because I learned to stretch what a 24 hour day has to offer. The shortest sleep I had was 1 hour in 24 hours, and the longest sleep was 3 hours. I didn’t engage on social media; altogether I think I spoke on the phone for a total of 7 minutes through a whole week. This trip surely made me realise how much you could achieve if you were willing to remove distractions from your life and work to achieve specific results.
Lesson: Sometimes it is okay to work restrictively in order to achieve a goal.
9. Think global
Milestone success – Over 100 million views on Facebook
One of the most admirable mental attitudes of Dr Adelaja is his thirst for spreading the gospel of the Kingdom of God on a global scale. He has a great appetite for reaching as many lives as possible. No wonder why he was able to build the largest church in Europe at the age of 33. It is evident how at one point, 33% of the government officials were from the church he established. His Facebook transmission recently reached an outstanding milestone of over 100 million views. He said something profound to me that it takes the same time and effort to achieve something small than something big. So why think small?
Lesson: Make the sky your limit. Nothing is unachievable with determination.
10. Be punctual
The discipline of punctuality is crucial. The HMT coordinators did not tolerate lateness; if you were late, you received a red dot if you receive three red dots you were taking off the training. This may seem harsh, but it helped me become more punctual than ever before.
Lesson: Plan and stick to your plan. Time is precious.
11. Inspires Greatness
Dr Adelaja’s reinforced my understanding that anyone can become great with the ability to maximise their God-given gifts. Pictures of exceptional individuals who have impacted our everyday lives from Thomas Edison, Henry Ford to Benjamin Franklin, were visibly displayed in the training centre, reminding all participants that there is no monopoly of great achievers – if these people can achieve greatness, so can you.
Lesson: If anyone can become successful so can you.
One admirable qualities of Dr Adelaja was his sky-high confidence. His presence consumed the room, especially with his signature “laugh” and non-stop energy. His confidence was so contagious that it rubbed off on the HMT attendees those who were reserved became bolder and bolder as the training progressed. He explained to us that the world is waiting for heroes, someone who is confident. He encouraged us to walk, talk and act confident with the gift God has blessed us with.
Lesson: Believe in yourself first before you can expect people to believe in you.
I believe humility is one of the fundamental principles enabling Dr Adelaja’s success. He is down to earth in the way he relates to people, you cannot but appreciate his demeanor. This is a lot coming from one so successful as him.
For example, I was deeply moved when he engaged me on his platform.
Lesson: People always give honor to the humble.
14. Don’t live by food alone
Before attending HMT, I was that someone who made food an idol, I would spend hours within the day undecided on the choice of food and sometimes wasting time eating out in restaurants, etc. But in HMT I was delivered by an entirely new lifestyle where we have a chef that provided our food three times in the day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Being a fussy eater this was ideal for the fact that you eat what is in front of you, end of. I found this routine to be liberating, and I realised food should be secondary in my life.
Lesson: Do not live to eat, but eat to give yourself the necessary energy to accomplish your daily tasks.
During the workshops, Pastor Sunday Adelaja would always encourage you to build a personal relationship with Christ. He shares his techniques to help you to develop yourself spiritually. He shared his experience of when he locked himself up in a room for a whole week in a month without food and water just seeking God.
Lesson: You sometimes need to focus without any distraction to hear from God.
Passion about Nigeria
One of Dr Adelaja’s deepest passions is the nation of Nigeria. We had a presentation about his grand plans to transform Nigeria, in detailed from the ministries he is looking to set-up, to partnering with a team that consist of powerful individuals in the society.
Lesson: You have to be part of solution to what the world needs.
Give God all the glory
Thousand of thousands of individuals were set free from drug, and alcohol addiction, and so much more bondage. Dr Sunday Adelaja rarely talks about the miracles God has done through him. I was so astonished to have first-hand insight into more of these amazing testimonies during my visit.
Lesson: Do not be boastful, rather be fruitful for the world to see.