Church Jumps in to Support Families in Need During Banking Crisis
I grew up in Iceland and became a pastor at the age of 21. I love working with people and seeing them grow into God´s plan for their lives. I also love to think outside the box, implement needed change and start up projects that bring the church further in its mission.
But as a young leader, I knew I had shortcomings and a lack of training. So, when I first heard about The Global Leadership Summit, I thought it would really help me. I loved it. I’ve come back almost every year since for about ten years now.
At the time, charity work was almost non-existent in my church.
There is so much to learn—I realized most leaders are dealing with similar issues. Attending the GLS, I have been challenged to do more, work harder and dream bigger, but also to take care of myself, rest and be healthier both physically and spiritually. The result has had a ripple effect in my community and even the world!
One of the things that struck me early on in my interactions with the Global Leadership Network was the teaching and inspiration I received about charity work in the church. At the time, charity work was almost non-existent in my church.
As I was reflecting and praying about what I heard, an idea came to me. What if our church started a secondhand charity market? This thought really caught me.
I decided to go ahead and speak to my church board about it. Everyone on the board supported the idea! Within two weeks, we had borrowed and empty commercial space, and people at the church emptied their storage spaces to give stuff away to sell. Volunteers stepped up to help as well, and in the first month, I was excited by how well we did! This in and of itself was great, but it also happened to be during the great banking crisis of 2008, so a lot of people were struggling to make ends meet—the help the church provided came at a very good time. We were able to give all the income away either to local charities or to help those in need in our community by giving them pre-paid cards to buy groceries. We’ve been able to support hundreds of families this way!
What started ten years ago is still going strong—we are giving away significant amounts of money every year, both here in Iceland as well as internationally. One of the locations is in a country called Burkina Faso in Africa where we support a school project.
I would encourage every leader to go to the Summit to get inspired, encouraged and to improve their leadership skills. You never know what will happen in your sphere of influence as a result!