Saddleback Church lead pastor Rick Warren and his congregation said goodbye to their worship music leader for the last 24 years during church services this past weekend at the megachurch’s main campus in Lake Forest, Calif.
Worship Pastor Rick Muchow’s departure comes at a time when Saddleback is transitioning to a less centralized form of leadership and making room for the next generation of leaders, Warren explained. Although having no plans to retire from worship music ministry work, Muchow is leaving after declining a more administrative-type lead position under the church’s newly formed worship team structure.
While addressing his congregation during a tribute to Muchow before services, Warren said it took nearly three years to find and recruit a person having the professional flexibility needed to “keep up” with him. Muchow was able to “go with the flow” on countless occasions when changes to the worship plans were made shortly before and even during church services and functions, he said.
“Personally, this is the most bittersweet moment I’ve had in 32 years as your pastor,” wrote Warren in an email to his congregation sent before the weekend tribute to Muchow. “I know it is the right thing to do, but it is at great personal grief to me.
“Rick Muchow is simply one of my closest and deepest friends. No one else has experienced with me as many Saddleback service high points. We have watched God do miracles before our eyes and the team of ‘Rick and Rick’ has been inseparable for 24 years. So understand me, this organizational change is not what’s most comfortable for either Rick Muchow or me personally… but it is what our church needs next.”
Warren explained in the email that the church’s elders have been prayerfully “discussing, strategizing, and thinking through the long range plans” for Saddleback. The leadership team realized that the church’s transition toward a “new generation of Saddleback leaders” needed to be planned years in advance.
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SOURCE: Christian Post