Sports stars everywhere were enthusiastic about its original launch sixteen years ago. It was published by IFH Publishing Co (Australia) and distributed by Open Book Publishers (Adelaide), and its immediate reach was through Christian book shops and the sports ministry network.
The names of those who launched the book read like a 'Who's Who' of Australian sporting achievement. In Perth it was kicked off by Brad McKay (Rugby League), Margaret Court (Tennis) and Ian Healy (Cricket). In Melbourne, Dave Whatmore (Cricket) and Tony Dunkerley (Soccer) tossed the first coin. In Sydney, Jeanine Treharne (Yachting) and Nick Farr-Jones (Rugby). In Brisbane the starting gun was fired by Angela Harris (Swimming) and Dean Davis (AFL).
These plus about 25 other sporting personalities wrote testimonials in the book to the effectiveness of the Sports and Leisure Ministry.
"No Orchestra, No Trumpet" subtitle was "The story behind the quiet miracle of Australia's sports ministry." The book was not only autobiographical, it was a testimonial of its own history by the people who engaged the vision for an Australian ministry to its professional sporting community.
The prefix was written by the Reverend Norman Nix who was then the Director of Evangelism and Church Growth for the Baptist Churches of New South Wales and was later to become a President of the Baptist Churches of New South Wales.
In that Prefix Reverend Nix wrote: "One of the major reasons this ministry has been so successful and has grown in such a remarkable fashion is that it has a Biblically-based philosophy and seeks to honour Jesus Christ."
The book's Foreword in 1994 was written by the Reverend Dr Gordon Moyes, the then Patron of the sports ministry and Superintendent of Wesley Mission. Dr Moyes was later awarded a Companion of Australia (AC) and was elected to the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament.
He wrote: "(Mark Tronson's) ministry vision has bought to the Australian community a Christian ministry of exciting and mind-blowing dimensions which has captured my admiration and support. This book is the story of that achievement."
"No Orchestra, No Trumpet" described an account of the sport ministry's development from its beginnings, and included a chapter by the sports chaplains themselves telling their own stories. This is followed by ten pages of 'miracles' detailing the Lord's providence in situation after situation.
Now, sixteen years later, M V Tronson is still convinced that the most telling chapters are the final two. The theological chapter entitled "Questions on Sport" discusses how athletes are vulnerable, the nature of competition and how the Christ-centred philosophy of the ministry can help them cope with their day-to-day stresses.
The conclusion is Richard Pengelly's "Ten Common Questions for Christian athletes", which lists some pertinent issues such as, 'How do I relate to non-Christians on my team?' 'What can / should I do about dirty play?' 'What are effective ways to witness to team mates, coaches, opponents, umpires, spectators. How do I cope with winning or losing?'
Mark Tronson says he likes the tenth question: 'I often feel alone as a Christian in my sport. What can this group (Christian sports fellowships) offer me?' To answer this question, Richard Pengelly speaks of the blessings Christ brings to the Christian athlete.
"No Orchestra, No Trumpet" is out of print. There is some thought of writing a reflective history of the theological underpinning of the sports ministry.
It may be timely now, with his added experience since 2000 of the Well-Being Australia ministry which largely focuses on athlete respite. (In 2000 Mark and Delma Tronson were released by Heads of Churches from the Sports and Leisure Ministry to establish Well-Being Australia).
50 years from its 1982 foundation in 2032, Christian historians will be able to reflect upon the sports chaplaincy movement with 'critical analysis' when everyone who contributed to its pages has gone to their reward.