Published June 18, 2018

Stepping Out in Faith to Provide Free Guitars and Lessons to Low-Income Teens


North America

 The Global Leadership Summit is one way God provides water to those who are thirsty, encouragement to those who are discouraged, inspiration to those who are restless, and peace to those who are overwhelmed,” says Gary Brosch, founder and retiree of the Center for Urban Transportation Research, volunteer guitarist on his church’s worship team, and founder of No Fret Guitar Camp.

A journey of influence encouraged by the Summit

“I’ve been attending the Summit for the past four years, and it offers tremendous encouragement and wisdom to pursue worthwhile leadership—Leadership toward helping others, recognizing that in the end no one wins unless everyone wins. More than anything, I’ve gained encouragement to push forward, learn from others and keep trying with whatever gifts and circumstances I have.”

Gary Brosch’s journey of influence has brought him down a path toward a grander vision to show God’s love to low income teenagers through the gift of music. While on a mission trip to South Africa, he bought two guitars, and started teaching a couple of teens to play in his spare time. After the trip, he started to develop the idea for a free guitar camp as a ministry to urban teens.

When Gary returned home to Florida, his wife suggested that since he enjoyed teaching these teens so much, he start a ministry teaching local inner city kids to play guitar and provide them free guitars. He was a bit skeptical that this was a “ministry” at first, because it was so much fun!

He took his idea for a free guitar camp to his pastor, David Smith, and he was emphatic. The pastor affirmed this idea of showing God’s grace through the lifetime gift of music by giving free guitar lessons and free guitars, stating the gift of music to these underserved kids gives hope, shows love, gives them a point of pride, provides a positive way to connect with their feelings and with God, and has been proven to improve academic success.

A Grander Vision ignites

With the help of volunteer guitar teachers and donor support, Gary started the free camp at eleven churches, providing lessons and free guitars to 66 students.

“Attending the Summit and hearing the great stories of people who persevered in helping others inspired me to expand the program,” says Gary, who referenced specific talks from 2017 that motivated him on his journey.

“Gary Haugen is an example of incredible courage. I thought about my efforts to give the gift of music to underserved kids and thought, what a wimp am I to fear moving ahead with something so simple when Gary Haugen is doing something so life threatening!  The impact was magnified by Angela Duckworth who talked about perseverance and grit. I felt both smacked down my hesitation and lifted me up to meet the challenge!”

Soon after the 2017 Summit, Gary and his team of dedicated volunteers incorporated No Fret Guitar Camp as a 501(c)(3) organization based on the principle of Matthew 6:25. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Taking a leap of faith

They took a leap of faith and ordered 300 custom-built Matthew 6:25 guitars in preparation for summer 2018. Gary hopes to reach his goal of hosting 100 camps at 100 churches, showing hundreds of kids God’s love through music.

“We currently have 21 different churches signed up for camps, including camps in Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama!” Gary exclaims. He’s also getting Grammy-Award winning guitarists’ attention, receiving support and endorsements from the lead guitarists from TobyMac, Mercy Me, Colton Dixon, and Jeremy Camp.

“My desire remains to give the lifetime gift of music to under-served kids through free guitar lessons and free guitars,” says Gary. “When I saw the joy of the two kids in South Africa as they learned guitar, I knew teaching them was valuable. And when I taught three boys from Thailand and three girls from Congo, I knew it was truly a worthwhile endeavor. My wife and my pastor made clear to me the long-term benefits to the kids. The kids themselves made abundantly clear the joy and hope they received by being a part of it.

If I hadn’t attended the Summit…

“God has shown me that you really do have to step out in faith. If I hadn’t attended the Summit, I would probably be playing more golf and drinking margaritas instead of pursuing my grander vision. That’s not really a bad thing, but it is not nearly as good as seeing the smiles on the students’ faces and having peace in the knowledge of doing God’s work.”

About the Author(s)
Global Leadership Network

Global Leadership Network

GLN Staff Writer

The Global Leadership Network is a community committed to learning from each other and using our influence to accomplish God’s purposes on earth. No matter where your influence is, when you commit to grow your leadership, everyone around you wins—businesses work for good, communities are transformed and churches thrive! Both global and diverse, our network includes partners in 1,400+ cities and 135+ countries. We are committed to deliver fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content both at The Global Leadership Summit, and year-round through our digital platforms.

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