Journey to Morningside Part 2 – And The Word is Media

There I was, the summer before my senior year in High school.  I had only been saved for a few months and I was so on fire that I was joining every church camp I could either attend or be a part of as a member of the camping staff.  During my time as a counselor for the youth camp, I had been spending some private with Jesus in my cabin just asking God for guidance on a couple of matters that were heavy on my heart.  The first concerned my infatuation with an awesome girl that the Lord basically told me not to pursue which was so confusing to me because I thought she would make a great wife!  The second issue on my heart was regarding a passion of mine I hadn’t told my Mom or Dad or even closest friends.  Nobody knew about the calling I kept feeling in my heart.  The passion that I felt was ignited inside of me.

That hidden passion of mine was Media.  I LOVED media.  I loved the thought of television.  Big stages and millions of people and spreading the gospel and entertainment in such a visual way!   But in my prayers I told the Lord, “God I don’t have enough faith to do this!  This is crazy what’s in my heart!”

I felt that way because saying you want to go into media or television is truly like saying ‘I want to be a major league baseball player!’  Either you make it OR you don’t.  I’m not talking about some local cable access stuff. I wanted to do something GREAT for God!

I kept repeating, “God I simply don’t have enough faith!  You’ve got to show me what I’m supposed to do!” What I was feeling as my calling seemed impossible!  Too Big!

After  spending this intimate, beautiful time with the Holy Spirit  it was time for me to go to services that night so I closed it out and left with the lingering questions about my future swirling in my head.

I went to the evening service.  It was great worship and a good sermon.  Right after the service I noticed this guy at the youth camp who seemed like a solid leader. I could tell that the camp looked up to this man.  He was an interesting fellow because he had an Australian accent.  I later found out that he actually was from Australia and used to do work for Hillsong Church.  I was not exactly sure what his role was but I could tell he was a man that people looked up to.

Just as I had observed him, he too saw me in the crowd.

After the service this man who I had noticed,  Gareth Richards, came up to me, introduced himself  and told me that he felt he had a Word from the Lord for me.  Something inside of me started to stir in that moment and I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, he’s going to start talking about media! This can’t be happening!”   But he didn’t.  He didn’t talk about media.  But it is interesting to note what he DID talk about.  You see, he addressed the issues in the order that I had addressed them to God that day.  He said, “Zach, I feel like God told me that you are worried about your future spouse.”  I thought “Whoa!   I had left the cabin earlier and had literally gone from spending my time with God directly to the service. Nobody knew anything about this!”

“He said, “You know Zach, don’t worry about your future spouse.  You need to continue in serving the Lord, walking in the ministry He has called you to go into; Follow your calling.  Along the way, God said that He will bring your wife to you.  So don’t even worry about it!”

After our brief talk, I went back to my cabin and went to sleep.  The next morning I woke up and   went to the morning service. When it had ended,  I once again was walking back to my cabin.  Now, I want to say something and make it very clear.  I am not saying this man teleported to where I was, but as I was walking back to my cabin, there was a huge open field off to my right, and out of nowhere, there stood Gareth Richards.  He smiled and said, “Hey Zach how are you doing?!”  Once again I want to say that I am NOT saying he teleported to me.  I mean maybe I was really not paying attention at all and he was there the whole time, but I am absolutely telling you that I was totally startled when he was suddenly right next to me saying, “Hey Zach!”  I have to admit that I thought to myself, ‘How cool that this guy remembered my name!’  It really made me feel good.

He came closer to me and was acting odd and I quickly realized that the presence of God was there with us.  I remember that moment like it was yesterday.  He came up to me, put his hand on my shoulder and began looking right into my face.  His other hand was just slightly in the air and I could see it was lightly trembling.  His eyes started to well up a little bit and he said to me in a rich Australian accent that was obviously quivering,

“Zach, I don’t know if I have ever heard a word so clear from the Lord before.”

I was astonished that this true man of God would say something like that; a word that he had never heard so clear before?  This Holy Spirit guided man had ‘the clearest word ever’ for ME?

My heart was pounding in my chest as I listened with every bit of my heart.

“Zach, I don’t know if I have ever heard a word so clear from the Lord before.” He then paused slightly as if the power of the spirit was welling up inside of him and then POWERFULLY said,

“And that one word is ‘MEDIA’.”

I couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t believe it!!!

He said, “That one word is Media, Zach.   I’m seeing talkshows! And even some shows with a ‘tonight show’ type of feel.” He then listed other types of formats of shows that he saw as well. “You have a message and a voice that is unique and different than others and it will set you apart.  God has called you to help revolutionize Christian television and media for this generation!”

It was all I could do at this moment not to start bursting into tears of JOY, he spoke with such clarity and authority!

“Zach, you feel inside of you how big this could get! But all of this entitles just one thing, and that one thing is humility.  If that means putting your face before God every single day then so be it!”

And I did feel it! I feel it to this day!  I know and feel the magnitude of what God has called me to be a part of.

Gareth Richards told me so many things in those minutes and once the conversation was over, I literally ran to the cabin to try and jot down everything he told me.  To this day I have the list of what he said to me on that summer morning seven years ago.  It is safely tucked in the one place where God speaks to me every single day; those words rest between the pages of God’s Word, in my Bible.

What happened to me at camp is what literally set me out on my journey.  I knew that I was called to Christian Media and it was in my heart, from that very day, that God has called me to help revolutionize Christian television and media for this generation.  I feel it today, the same way I felt it then.

God had answered “yes”.   Now I just had to find the path and discover the direction that would get me to where He wanted me to be.  You and I both know that  God does have remarkable plans for us  and for me all of what occurred next led me further on the path to Morningside!

Love, Zach

3 thoughts on “Journey to Morningside Part 2 – And The Word is Media

  1. Zach that was God wanting you to be the voice of young folks , by using you to be a light for this generation . you have a awesome gift and God bless you

  2. Zach, I wrote you a message and somehow it was blocked off so I’ve had to start all over again. I have to say that I have seen you on other talk shows and have been impressed by your words and dedication. to the Word of God. You come across as being transparent, honest, well-informed and an interesting educator and in such a young man! You are in God’s favor! I see how you will be so blessed with a lovely wife who will appreciate how very special you are. We are so pleased to see you on the Jim Baker show. The program is aired three times daily here in Puerto Rico. God bless you Zach!

  3. Zach, in a world full of young people doing the wrong things, it is so refreshing to read your testimony. Keep going, keep growing, and with God’s infinite help and mercy your little light will lead many young men and women to The Lord.

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