This month’s blog has been written by Zack McKim. Zack is one of our writers and he plays

guitar on our worship team. He is a huge asset to our team and we are excited for him to share

his story with you.


 

The Rock of NW Arkansas - Zack McKim

My Story

By Zack McKim

As a child I had the privilege of growing up in a very unique home. Like all families we

had our quirks and challenges but we always found a way to maintain fellowship with

one another and keep the peace. Our main source of relationship was fostered through

making music together.

My Nana and Papa met in the early 50’s while performing with their band on a country

music/gospel radio show. For the duration of their lives together, music was a catalyst

for sharing quality time with everyone of our family members. My father, aunt and uncle

all learned how to play instruments at an early age and were encouraged to perform

whenever they got the chance. During this same time my mother began learning to play

piano and became very proficient as well. After my cousins and I were born it became

apparent to us that we were to love and respect music not as a hobby, but as a way of

life. We were encouraged to do specials at church, play the school talent shows and

learn how to engage in our gatherings as a family.

Around my sophomore year of high school my cousin Josh moved to Nashville, TN to

pursue his musical career. Josh was and still is someone I look up to as a musician. His

raw talent and abilities were something most people could only dream of. His

personality and charisma were contagious. The first time I saw him play with his band I

knew I had to get on the stage.

For the next 5 years I spent every spare moment, and some I had already committed to

other things, focused on finding a way to start a band or keep one going. But it wasn’t

until I moved to NW Arkansas and joined the Fayetteville music scene that I found what,

I thought, I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I made lifelong friendships and

memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life, but I wanted something more.

All of the dreams I had about touring and playing shows and making records were

coming true and I still felt empty at the end of the day. I had all I thought I ever wanted

or needed but it wasn’t enough.

One day while driving to a show somewhere up toward Canada I felt what I now know

was the Holy Spirit telling me to contact Pastor Kevin Kiehn. I reached out several

times over the following weeks and started having conversations about where my heart

was. I would rehearse the feelings I had been feeling and the unhappiness I was

experiencing with where I was in life. I would cry and tell Kevin how I knew that God had

called me to some aspect of music but I didn’t know how to “figure out” what it was

supposed to look like. It had to have been frustrating listening to me repeat the same

things, over and over. But much like Holy Spirit, he was patient and kind and

encouraging.

Shortly thereafter I met Apostle and Autumn and began coming to the Rock. Shortly

after that I quit my band and began the journey to where I am now. In the past 8 years

since Yahweh led us to The Rock of Northwest Arkansas, He has shown us so much

about what true, intimate relationship through worship is supposed to look like. We’ve

learned and have seen true abandonment expressed. We’ve seen moments of

desperation and moments of breakthrough. We’ve seen and received the joy of the

Lord’s heart. We’ve helped usher people into the presence of Yahweh and we’ve felt his

embrace in ways we never knew were possible.

During my time on the worship team I’ve learned that a lot of the ways I viewed “church”

music were skewed by religious mindsets that had been engrained in me from an early

age. My eyes have been opened to how truly performance driven my expression and

life had been to that point. Every moment I had ever spent playing music in either a

performance or worship setting had been so structured and suffocated that when I saw

what it was like to be truly free to express myself in music I knew I had found a pearl of

great price. I didn’t have to follow the way everyone else chose to express themselves. I

was free to commune with Holy Spirit the way He intended. It has been awesome, over

the years, to see the different ways Yahweh has given us to manifest worship to Him.

Some people sing and raise their hands, while others dance and stomp their feet

hilariously before the Lord.

I’ve learned a lot and I’m still learning but if I know anything it’s that a genuine sound

released as worship is beautiful to Yahweh.