Rick Muchow Bio - ChristianMusic.com
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About Rick Muchow and His Friends...

Although Rick was born in San Pedro, CA., he spent his formative years, from age 6 to 12 growing up in Greenwich Village, located in lower New York City. It is here, in this community known to be rich in the arts, being traditionally inhabited by musicians, artists, and those in the acting profession, where young Rick's musical talent and interest in music was fostered. At an early age, he studied guitar, learned to sing, and became involved in musical theater.

During his junior high years, Rick moved back to California, and became active in musical opportunities in San Jose, CA. During his Senior year in high school, he performed in the musical, GODSPELL. The Lord used this opportunity to draw Rick to Himself, opening Rick's eyes to the truth about Jesus through one of Rick's friends who explained what GODSPELL was based on. The summer after Rick graduated from high school, he became a believer in Jesus Christ, turning his life over to Him.

It is encouraging and fascinating to see how the Lord guides, prepares and molds believers through their life experiences, so they can be fully used for His glory. Rick's attitude toward music, at this point of his life, was coming from a secular mindset, instead of a spiritual one, which is needed for a person who would be entering music ministry for Christ. He needed to make the Lord his number one priorty, and not let other passions like music come between him and the Lord. "Rick had always thought of music as means of getting what he wanted. In his own words, music was 'a god' to him. But all of that changed when his guitar was stolen during the summer after he accepted Jesus as his Savior. Suddenly there was a great void in his life. It was a void that Rick eventually learned to fill with Christ. His guitar was returned only after he clearly saw that his first priority in life had to be God." Rick remembers: "Music was a god I worshiped, but now music is a means to worship God." - encouragingmusic.com/rick/rick_bio.asps

While studying music at San Jose City College, the Lord further developed his spiritual mindset. Rick had the opportunity of touring with a Spanish Gospel group, The Gospel Expressions, who sang only in Spanish. While Rick couldn't sing in Spanish, he was musically contributing to the group effort to bring the Gospel to their audience by playing his guitar. "God used this experience to teach Rick another major lesson: a music minister does not have to be in the spotlight to serve Christ."

For being a member of the body of Christ, all members work together to serve and promote Jesus Christ. This meant that the Lord is better served in a worship music ministry when all pool their various talents to create a wonderful group effort for the Glory of God, not for self-glory. This philosophy has served Rick's ministry for the Lord well, as he not only uses his own songs for services and CDs, which show "remarkable range and depth," but also the songs written by the other musicians he leads and works with on the worship team. Rick comments, "I am inspired by other songwriters expressing their true, authentic, relevant relationship with God. The whole body has something to say."

After graduating from San Jose State University where he majored in music, Rick began serving the Lord as a worship music and youth leader for Warm Springs Baptist Church for a two year period, where he was fully convinced and reassured that he had been truly called to be a full-time music minister. Specifically, he strongly felt called to be a church music leader. Along with his musical talent, he also became aware of another gift of ministry; a passion for people, which is an important part of being any kind of pastor.

Rick's next ministry assignment from the Lord found him in Gilroy, at First Baptist Church. After 4 1/2 years, Rick left First Baptist Church in Gilroy, CA. to try touring America in a concert format. This approach to ministering through music was short lived because of the stress and sacrifices this kind of ministry demands. Rick realized quickly, as many other Christian artists have, that touring and life on the road demands a dedication and sacrifice which interferes with marriage, having a home life, and didn't fit too well with his original calling; to be a local worship music minister, personally involved with people, a gift that he realized he had at Warm Springs Baptist Church.

Because of the above compelling reasons, Rick and his wife decided to settle down and raise their family in a community setting, and to serve the community through music ministry in a church setting. In 1987, Rick Muchow was invited to join the staff at The Saddleback Church, a congregation of 1500, in need of a music program, and a music worship leader. So Rick went to work in developing the whole music program from scratch.

His efforts at doing so were mightily blessed by the Lord in his first year at Saddleback Church. The church grew to 3000 members, partly because of the enhanced worship experience, bolstered by Rick Muchow's unique vision for how worship music should sound; being high quality, seeker-sensitive, user-friendly worship music, and thus inspire the audience for a closer walk with the Lord, feeding them spiritually with music, which leads to the ultimate goal; encouraging more involvement, producing worship of the Lord.


Rick Muchow, now a well-respected authority on the topic of contemporary worship music, wears several hats in his dedicated service in music ministry. As music worship leader /pastor at Saddleback Church, which has grown to 15,000 average weekend attendance, he's responsible for the "music for 5 weekend services, a midweek service and other group meetings too numerous to mention. There are 40 active supporting volunteer musicians, and 45 ministry staff (paid and volunteer)." The music program has also grown to having 1000 adults, youth and children all participating in the choirs established for adults, high school, junior high, elementary school, and even for the very young.

Not only is Rick the music worship leader /pastor for Saddleback Church, he is involved in other outreach projects to help churches be effective through music to spiritually feed their congregations and draw seekers to the Lord. Rick is the worship music leader for the popluar Purpose Driven Church conferences, which are attended by over 150,000 pastors and church leaders, and has a section on his website, www.encouragingmusic.com where others involved in leading worship music in their churches can e-mail any questions that they may have.

Julie Carr // ChristianMusic.com.