Ein ungewöhnliches, aber wichtiges Thema fasst Tony Guerrero, Kreativdirektor in Rick Warren?s Saddleback Church (»Leben mit Vision«), in diesem Buch an: Wie geht eine Gemeinde mit ihren Musikern und Künstlern um? Welchen Platz gibt es für sie? Wie können sie integriert und wertgeschätzt werden? Welche Bedingungen, Grenzen und Regeln gibt es für die Mitarbeit? Pastoren und Musiker wie Paul Baloche, Rick Founds und Sally Morgenthaler kommen in diesem Buch zu Wort und geben praktische Erfahrungen weiter. Eine ausführliche englische Besprechung des Buches hier:

In the last ten years few people would not recognize the impact that Saddleback Church, Rick Warren (its pastor) and the »Purpose Driven« books and ministries that have sprung up from this community. It's not surprise then, when you talk to worship ministers in local churches around America that you hear them referring to Saddleback's Rick Muchow (pastor and worship leader) and Tony Guerrero (Director of Creative Arts) for insights on music and worship. A few weeks ago, while at a worship conference, I was thumbing through a new book called »Attracting Quality Musicians« by Tony Guerrero. I was intrigued by the book because it spoke head-on to a specific topic that touches most churches in western culture. While I was standing at a vendor booth scanning the book, the vendor said to me »if you are interested in that book, you can ask the author, he's right there«. Tony just happened to be walking by (he was teaching some classes at the conference I was at) so I had the chance to catch up with him and talk briefly. I was glad I did.

Tony Guerrero is a successful jazz musician of some notoriety, who has won popular acclaim in concerts, recording appearances and music reviews. He has quite a story of how God moved him into serving local churches, and eventually overseeing the music ministry at Saddleback church. Much of this story is shared in the pages of Tony's book »Attracting Quality Musicians«, which is both enjoyable and well balanced in its treatment of the topic. In this work, Tony presents a concise, but complete, treatise for why and how a local church can go about »Attracting Quality Musicians«.

The book begins with several pages which address some philosophical and Biblical points related to the premise of putting quality music into the local church. I liked this because he took approach of helping to bring everyone to the same place of understanding before launching into the mechanics of attracting and keeping quality musicians. Even if you don't end up agreeing with his viewpoint, this book is an excellent scale on which to weigh your opinions. And in the end, there is plenty to discuss here. From foundations for why a church might want to improve their music, to identifying, engaging, pastoring, working with and keeping top notch musicians, Mr. Guerrero meticulously covers the gambit of issues that face anyone in local church music leadership.

Another thing I liked about the book was that Tony doesn't shy away from any hot button issues. Particularly, the topics of paying musicians, using non-Christian musicians, volunteerism and personal moral character is dealt with head on. This may be controversial to some, but Guerrero is upfront and clear about his agenda and perspective. Also refreshing was that the author presents the reader with other options, sometimes going so far as to articulate and explain how one could support alternate opinions. All along the way, we learn more about the author, and the concepts by well placed personal stories and examples and quotes from others such as Tommy Walker, Buddy Owens, and Chris Falsom. The core of the book is a relatively short read at about 85 pages, so it is nicely manageable for worship leaders and musicians who (if they are like me) have limited spare time. But the book has an additional 40 pages of excellent interview material that helps to bring some additional voices to the discussion. Israel Houghton, Paul Baloche, Sally Morganthaler, Morris Chapman, Tom Brooks and others chime in with extended sections relating to the topics presented in the book. Not all of the opinions and feedback even agree with all of Guerrero's points (though some of them do), which make the interviews a valuable part of this work.

Overall »Attracting Quality Musicians« is, as its subtitle suggests, »a guidebook and discussion« not a hard-line text for Tony Guerrero's opinion. It is well-paced and invitational in its approach, leaving you feeling like you sat down and had a chat with Tony (ok, maybe several chats) about the topics covered. He clearly leaves you to make your own conclusions on how to approach church music, while presenting fairly concise manual for the proven method they are employing in the ministry at Saddleback church. It is an important, well-thought, contribution to church music leaders everywhere. (Review von Kim Gentes)

Tony Guerrero: Attracting Quality Musicians. Nickeldimeus Publishing 2007. $ 15,-

© G. Baltes / T. Schröder

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