In the third installment of the new Kingdom Generosity Moment podcast, state missionary Buck Burch explores visual learning with a discussion of a permanent stewardship exhibit at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Missions and Ministry Center in Duluth.
Burch interviews fellow state missionary Scott Preissler, who has been working in the area of stewardship for the last 35 years. In so doing he has amassed the world’s largest collection of art, artifacts, and library related to Kingdom Generosity. Named the “Kingdom Generosity Collection,” the works – displayed throughout the five floors of the building – attempt to address what Preissler terms “the silent subject of Christianity” and yet underpins everything the Church accomplishes.
More than 1,000 years of stewardship documentation through artwork
The collection contains more than a thousand years of stewardship documentation. It holds more than 1,000 paintings, etchings, and engravings illustrating biblical stewardship and generosity.
Preissler says, “What started as a 200-year-old offering plate from Oxford, England has now expanded to the world’s largest collection of its kind.” The library alone is now 17 times larger than the Library of Congress’ holdings on the subject.
The human brain works in varied ways to collect, decode, and process new information, Burch states. And for some people, the best way to learn is visually, or what is sometimes called “spatial learning.”
Visiting the vast collection is a powerful way to better understand the history of stewardship through hundreds of years as believers gave sacrificially to further the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
‘Crisis point’ in giving threatens spread of the gospel
On the podcast, Preissler explains why he believes we are at a “crisis point” in our modern ecclesial era. Stewardship or
Kingdom Generosity – as explained in II Timothy 2:2 – “causes us to release what we have for the ministry.”
“We are at a time in America where we are releasing resources – actual dollar values – less than we did before the Great Depression.”
Preissler maintains that there were two large stewardship emphases where giving rose to the point of true generosity. As an example, those who lived through the Great Depression make up some of the biggest givers through local churches.
That is no longer the case, though, as studies indicate that the average believer today shares less than 2 percent of his or her income with the local church.
Through his collection, Preissler uses artwork and visual artifacts to help reteach the precepts of generosity for the modern church. That level of instruction can only be accomplished for some through visual learning, he believes.
‘Show and Tell’ is powerful way to learn
“When I was a kid,” Preissler relates, “my favorite two subjects were field trips and ‘Show & Tell.’”
Being able to get out of the classroom and delve into corporate experiential learning, exploring things hands-on with peers, provided just what he needed to learn what he might not in simple lecture.
“When you brought something precious to you, people learned more about you,” he says. The Kingdom Generosity Collection attempts to accomplish the same learning as “Show & Tell.”
Group tours now available to experience the world-class collection
Pastors can bring groups to the Duluth office by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org and scheduling their free private tour. These tours provide a “Show and Tell” moment that for some will be the best way to communicate Kingdom Generosity.
This month’s 14-minute podcast can be downloaded or streamed online by visiting here. The podcast is updated monthly.