Episode 14 – Rick Muchow Interview, Transitions

Welcome to WorshipMythbusters.com, this is Podcast Episode 14, May 2012.

I’m Rich Kirkpatrick, your host. Worship Mythbusters is about debunking damaging thinking that gets in the way of our worship.Employing the socratic method, we challenge popular notions that may be more myth than truth.

Today’s show features a special interview with a very good friend. Worship Leader Rick Muchow spent over 24 years as the worship pastor at Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, California under the leadership of Rick Warren. He is a songwriter, author, and an incredible family man. We talk about all those things and more. First, our essay.

ESSAY: Transitions

 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (NIV)

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

One myth for us in worship leadership is perhaps our ignorance to change that includes change that effects us personally. We can move the style of our worship team to be current, changing everything from the songs to the instrumentation to the personnel of our team. We may even be the ones to bring in others younger than ourselves to facilitate that change. But, one day we are in the equation. We are the change. Or, the one to transition.

While I have witnessed and participated in the retirement parties of senior pastors, I have yet to know a worship leader who has had that role for an entire career. So, I have not attended such a party for a worship leader.  In our society, the market and economy has changed such that no one should have the expectation of a solid career doing one thing and one role their entire vocational life.

A former ministry co-worker is married to an engineer who for many years was successful. Now, he has a growing coffee company. My wife, who has been in education for many years has had the interruption of child rearing and moves that were related to my job as a full time worship pastor. Much of what I have read recently points to volatility. Already once on this show I stated the statistic of how worship leaders have gone from a 40% full time employment rate to a 25% rate. This means 75% of you work part time. And, those that work full time in worship ministry are likely to be in a combined ministry roles. Times have changed. And, more change is on its way.

Transition means change, but it also means opportunity. I have a regular online meeting with a few guys in similar situations or season of life. Community helps. Knowing your story is not unique, helps. But, I also want to speak to those starting out or who are in the middle of those busy years. Transition seems to be happening at a faster rate. I am concerned that many are not thinking about it. You are simply too busy! You are so good at your ministry that perhaps you cannot imagine what happens on the other side.

Worship leader. As you change your church culture, move them forward as a servant leader you should always prepare that you moving out could be on the table. In fact, one day it will be.

For those in the middle zone of transition. Some exciting things are yet ahead. Dream big. See God in it all. And, never grow bitter. Your best days are yet ahead. The finish line is surely worth it.


Some links to Rick Muchow’s items mentioned in the podcast.

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