November 24, 2012
God's work is very rewarding
The Reverend Dr Kenneth Lee Samuels - George Henry
GEORGE HENRY, STAR Writer
At 13, the Reverend Dr Kenneth Lee Samuels decided that he wanted to be a born again Christian. His decision to start serving Christ at that time came after he attended a church where the gospel was preached with great passion.
Growing up in a poor community in Bronx, New York, USA, Samuels said he felt the need to give his life to the Lord because his thinking was that if he did so, he would have received the power to make better decisions.
"In making better decisions, I could make a better life for myself. This has been a reality. Many of my peers have not done very well in terms of life choices; some of them ended up in prison, some have ended up dead, some have ended up on drugs. And so, I give total credit to my decision to follow Christ and a concerned mother who saw to it that I had the right influences in my life, helping me make the right decisions as a young man," said Rev Samuels.
Samuels said it is very important for parents to assist their children in making the correct decisions in life. He stressed that he wished there were more mothers like his because if that were so, society would have been much better these days.
"My mother was a single parent. There were four of us that she had to pretty much raise us alone; and so she was wise enough to understand that being a single mother she needed all of the prayer and support that she could get; and she turned to the church for that kind of support, and thank God she was able to get it," noted Samuels.
Now senior pastor for the Victory for the World Church in Georgia USA for the past 25 years, Samuels said despite the job being challenging, it is also very rewarding as he assists in the changing of lives through the preaching of the gospel and the support he receives from the Christian community.
"They (pastors) hold me accountable; and I think it is best for every pastor to have someone who can provide support and talk candidly with them about their struggles in ministry, and hold them accountable for what they believe God has called them to do," said the senior pastor.
The church leader said there have been many occasions on which he has felt like "throwing in the towel". He said there have been times when he thought that the struggles of ministry have been too much for him. Personal issues, conflicts, dealing with the pressure of raising church budgets to pay mortgage, make payroll, trying to come up with messages and sermons and lessons that will inspire people and the day-to-day pressures are some of the things which have caused the pastor to entertain thoughts of quitting.
"Sometimes I felt like it was just too much; more than I bargained for, which I really didn't bargain for. It was really a calling on my life. However, most times when I felt that way, I have always been able to go to God and say, 'God, I did not ask to be a preacher, I had asked to be a pastor, there was nothing that I had a desire to do on my own accord, this is what you called me to do'," said Samuels.
He added that he told the Lord that since He called him to work, he would trust Him to provide every resource necessary that he needed to get the job done.
Samuels said he is convinced that God called him because he wanted to do something else rather than being a pastor. He explained that he wanted to become a lawyer but that he had not found any fulfilment in that profession.
"I wanted to just go and study law, make a lot of money as a corporate lawyer; you know, try to be a good one in terms of being an honest one, but the calling that God had on my life and that God has on my life for ministry is just something that I would never ever be able to deny," said Samuels.
He noted that God spoke to him and told him that he could do law if that's what he chose to do, but that His (God) anointing would not be on his life; which meant that he would not have been fulfilled.
The senior pastor's favourite Bible verses can be found in Romans chapter 8 verses 35 to 37. He stressed that these verses have given him the assurance that no matter what struggles he encounters, God is with him and he will always get his victory. Andre Crouch's song Jesus is the Answer is his favourite.