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The Joy of Music Ministry by John Michael Talbot

A Review by Breda Coman

This book for any Christian musician is a must! John Michael Talbot explains music ministry and musicians with simplicity but with deep spiritual knowledge in four short chapters!

1 The first chapter 'The music of God' goes through topics such as the Creation of the World, the Fall, Redemption, Word and Sacrament, Discipleship, liturgy etc in the Church. What has this to do with Music Ministry?
Talbot…"I can assure you, it has everything to do with music ministry. Unless we can at least begin to hear God's music intuitively though the Church and the world, and everyone in them, then we cannot make God's spiritual music in a way that will really minister to others".

2 The second chapter is my favourite called 'Biblical Basics'! When I read this chapter I felt inspired to be a better musician but more important a Holy one! It is so often forgotten but when we think about it makes perfect sense….the more we love God the more you feel it and others feel it through our music. So often we want to be the best and sound the best but yet is it not more important that our hearts burn in love for Jesus with each word we sing and each note we play!
Talbot…"I must spiritually become naked to God at every concert, liturgy, or private time of compositional prayer…..I am totally vulnerable before God. I must be able to totally lose myself in the music so that only Jesus may be visible." He also states that it's so important that if we love to make music to God that also we must love the Church we play in! This part is quite challenging but so important if we want to remain faithful. Talbot…"The music minister must submit to good spiritual direction and the teaching authority of the Church." "Evangelistic music faces some unique challenges stylistically and spiritually. It must reach out to the culture of the world in which it finds itself without simply becoming worldly." "Our music must never intrude upon the sacredness of those precious few moments of silence and stillness during a Mass."

3 The third chapter is on 'Church Teaching' and again challenges us to watch what we do and to see is it really for the glory of the Lord. Talbot pulls no punches and is by no means out to please. He tells it as it is which in my opinion makes him the leading musician that he is in America and also is the reason why so many people are brought to a deep conversion back to Christ.
Talbot…"good liturgy builds faith, bad liturgy destroys faith." "When liturgy becomes a media performance instead of a true service of prayer, something has gone terribly wrong!"

4 Another great Chapter "The Master musician". Isn't it such a blessing that Christ knows everything about us and that every word and note sang and played draws us ever closer to His mercy and infinite love. He uses the very thing we love to make us Holy and to bring others to Him. Talbot…"The great musician must truly love music. It is not enough to learn to play the notes in a way that is technically correct. One must learn to find the spirit behind the note. For the singer of sacred song this is also true of every word. In this way music becomes sacramental" Well done John Michael Talbot!

For more information or if you want this book just look up Resurrection Press Publishers, a Catholic Book Publishing Imprint. For catalog call 1-800-892-6657, or go to the artist's website: