God Wants to Hear Us Say Yes - Living Strong Television Network
God Wants to Hear Us Say Yes

By Zach Williams

One Sunday after church, the pastor found me and said, “Zach, we’ve been watching you and Crystal for a while now as you’ve been involved with the prison ministry and Celebrate Recovery. We’ve seen how much your family has grown and matured. We all feel like God has placed you here. We’ve been wanting to launch a new campus for a long time, but we’ve not been able to find the right fit for some of the leadership positions. We feel like with your story, you two can reach people we can’t. Zach, would you help us launch this campus by being involved with the worship and the music? Would you come on staff with us here part-time at the church?”

I had a lot of questions, especially about our past and how that would affect our involvement with the church staff. Plus, at that point, I didn’t consider myself a “worship leader,” either as a role or as a job title. To all my rapid-fire questions, the pastor just kept saying, “Don’t worry, Zach, we’ll figure that out.” Finally, he offered, “Starting out, we won’t call you a pastor, we’ll call you a director. There’s a full-time pastor you’d be working with.” The plan was to keep my construction job with Dad but also to have specific music responsibilities with this new service. Fast-forward—the church staff made it happen, and I helped them launch a new service called the Refuge.

A Unique Venue

The service met on the church campus in the basketball gym. Because of the people we were trying to reach, everything we did was a totally different style than what was happening in the main sanctuary. As soon as we launched the service, people began to show up. We were definitely hitting the target, as most of them were “outsiders” for various reasons: people who had never been able to find their place in a church, people who had never been involved in anything connected to a church.

Folks from Celebrate Recovery came, and also some of the inmates we had ministered to came after getting out of prison. To no surprise, considering my testimony, we also attracted a lot of musicians and bikers. The Refuge reminded me of Jesus’s parable in Matthew 22 where the king tells his servants to go out and invite the people off the street to come to his banquet—the good and the bad alike. Just open up the doors, because everyone is welcome here. I wanted to provide a place that the old Zach Williams would have been able to walk in and be welcomed, not judged.

Learning to Say Yes

In that season of ministry, I learned one major lesson about God and how He seems to work, something I didn’t understand for so long. The biggest reason or excuse that keeps too many of us from saying yes to what God calls us to do is that we don’t feel “qualified” or “prepared.” We worry that we won’t have the right words to say or know what to do. We focus on what we can’t do instead of what He can do. Many of us try to ignore God’s voice when He just wants to hear us say, “Yes, Lord, I’ll do it,” and to simply trust Him for whatever is next, getting ready to go do whatever He says.

I learned through prison ministry and Celebrate Recovery that when I say yes to God, I may not have any idea what I’m going to do or say. But after the yes, He always works everything out and gives me the words. When the pastor came to us that day with his invitation, my first response was, “But I’m not qualified to do any of this. I don’t belong in leadership. This is not something I feel comfortable doing.” Yet when I stopped asking all the questions and just said yes, God Himself qualified me and gave me everything I needed. And He’s still doing that.

Because of the yes, the first time I led worship onstage was the first time I felt completely comfortable in my own skin playing music. After a decade of playing to thousands of people in the US and Europe in bars and clubs, to emphasize, that moment with God was the first time I felt completely comfortable playing music. That was because it was the first time I had truly submitted to the reason He created me. I realized that when I lead worship, the music isn’t about me. There is a vertical relationship happening.

Bottom line—God just wants to hear each of us say yes. And I’m here to tell you, there’s nothing else like it when we do.

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Rescue Story by Zach WilliamsAdapted from Rescue Story: Faith, Freedom, and Finding My Way Home by Zach Williams. Click here to learn more about this book.

From a hard-rocking life fueled by substance abuse to a hope-filled life of freedom and joy—this is music star Zach Williams’s bold and vulnerable story of faith and redemption.

Before two-time GRAMMY Award® winner Zach Williams penned heartfelt, faith-filled ballads like “Chain Breaker,” “There Was Jesus” (featuring Dolly Parton), and “Fear Is a Liar,” there was darkness. A rock-and-roll singer who thought he had all he ever wanted to make him happy, Zach instead felt empty. The drugs, alcohol, and late-night gigs played around the world couldn’t satisfy the longing in his heart for a place to belong. He was desperate for change.

It came while on tour in Spain with his band, and in this powerful and poignant memoir, Zach shares in vivid detail his personal Rescue Story. He reflects on his childhood and the prophecy that kept his parents from giving up hope, his descent into the substance abuse that held him captive for so long, and ultimately the rescue he didn’t think was possible but embraced with open arms.

A compelling, honest story of God’s unconditional love, grace, and redemption, Rescue Story shares the intimate journey of a beloved music artist and challenges you to seek resilient hope in the trials of your own life—because Jesus offers real freedom and joy, despite the mistakes of your past.

Rescue Story: Faith, Freedom, and Finding My Way Home by Zach Williams is published by Zondervan Books, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the parent company of Bible Gateway.

Zach Williams has become one of CCM’s leading artists and songwriters by carving a niche with his singular blend of southern rock, country, and faith-filled songwriting, which quickly awarded him his first GRAMMY Award® with his debut album, 2017’s Chain Breaker. Rescue Story followed in 2019, and in 2022 Zach returned with his third full-length album, A Hundred Highways. Zach and his family live near Nashville, Tennessee.

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