You just came back from Australia, right?
Yea…we just got back a week ago or so.
How long have you lived there?
I was born there and lived there for about 14 years.
Cool… so how was it back at home?
It was good!
We were at a Greg Laurie Harvest Crusade for about 4 days, and we were also in two different cities in two days, where we were doing our SHE
women’s events, based on my book. I think except for one day we were there, we had shows, so it was really
intense. It takes a day to get down there and to get back, so it wasn’t easy.
Are you performing any songs from your upcoming new album If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something yet?
We’re dong a few of them… about three of them so far. We’re adding a few songs along the way, and the new single launched recently.
Yes! We’ve been doing “Alive” live, and I think it’s going really well. I’ve never seen such an immediate response that we’ve been getting on this particular song. It’s really off tempo… and at Creation West '05, over in Washington, the whole crowd, around 20,000 of them, were just jumping, and just really getting involved! This song is about celebrating God, and being alive in Him. It was really cool to see that happening right away on that song.
Wow. So how do you feel about active ministry and being a Christian artist in general?
Well, I never really dreamed
to be a singer. When I was a kid, about 12, I just really wanted to give my gifts and my talents to God, and I asked Him to use me.
“I don’t know what I have to give you Lord, but here I am, use me…”
I’ve really felt that I’ve got a calling in my life not just to entertain people but to really point them to Jesus Christ through my music, so it’s very intentional.
As far as anybody that has been doing music for any period of time, they know that there’s a lot of sacrifice in it. It’s an intense, sometimes a lonely, hard life. You are away a lot from family and friends, there’s a lot of pressure involved, and you can really lose your head easily. So the fact that I’m doing it because I love God and to promote His message is just so much better, because I know that the message is making a difference. I get letters and e-mails all the time from people responding to my message. They allow me to remember that it’s not about me, but it’s about Him [God].
I’ve seen you on the covers of magazines, and it seems to me that you are becoming like a role model for teenagers, especially when it comes to the issues regarding purity and sexual abstinence. When did you decide that this [purity] was going to be your issue?
When I was about 15, 16, I made a commitment to wait [sexual abstinence before marriage]. And at that time I started to sing a lot, and my first album just came out that year. So a lot of “True Love Wait” events’ organizers asked me, “Can you just say a word or two about the importance of waiting?” So I was involved in “True Love Waits,” and we have gotten a huge response from that. Teens were saying, “That you so much for talking about this issue!” It’s so great to know that a teen is out there waiting. I’m waiting, and they’re waiting. It helps them to be encouraged and take that stance. I still have parents with tears in their eyes saying “thank you.”
And really, I still feel like my generation is being ripped off by STDs, AIDS, and pregnancy outside of marriage… 15-year-olds raising children on their own…
Besides the emotional consequences, just the fact that you’re giving yourself to someone without being in marriage…
I’ve seen many mistakes coming in this particular way- people being abused by our culture. I just kind of want to encourage people to get back to God’s way.
So your most recent book SHE Teen [Released Sept. 1, in stores now!] is said to have kind of a "fashion mag" feel to it? Tell me a little bit about the book… should readers read it cover to cover (since it’s still a book), and what kind of issues are covered in there?
read it cover to cover… I don’t think that most people would
though, because it looks like a magazine! But it has the content of a book. It talks about dating, purity, relationships, and on top of that, it’s got the biblical truth in there. There are stories of women in the bible that were good examples to us, and sometimes people who were not examples to us, things you’ve got to be careful of. And there are fun things in there as well, like quizzes and pictures. So I think a lot of young people would find interest in it, because when they look at a “book
book,” they think, “Hey, it’s the same thing as school!” But then they look at a magazine, although it has similar content, it’s a lot more approachable and easier to read. I think it draws in people more.
Yep, it seems like it’ll be really easy to pick up.
I read something in the book called Interactives with RSJ? Can you explain more about that, what it’s all about?
Those little sections are where I am just kind of sharing about issues and stories from my life… so it looks like I have a little column throughout the book – the content is very real and straight out, too. I think in a culture where it’s all about reality TV, really wanting something that is real and is true, I think people are craving something that is real. And that’s what I want to be. To be straight-up about my life and the things that God showed.
About your album If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something. I heard there is a song in there dedicated to a friend of yours in Australia?
There is a song in there that was inspired by him called “You Are Loved.” We haven’t been in contact since we were 12, and I found out through a friend that he kind of strayed from God, and was dealing with drugs. And I wrote a song to him, that if I had one chance to tell you something, it is that you are loved. That’s a message that we all have to be reminded of. God has been reminding me of that a lot. It’s a constant reminder that I am loved as I am. No matter what I’ve done or where I’ve been, I am loved. That doesn’t mean that I should abuse that grace. It does mean that I am accepted and I am safe.
The other subjects are about having compassion for the hurting. Everything extends from the love of God. We can have a holy and lovely life because we know that He loves us.
So you're returning back to your "rock roots" through this new project?
Yes… I am very much of a Rock Chick. That really came out in my second album God,
which is the closest album to my latest project. I’ve been making worship albums for my last few albums, and I think that kind of took my music soft at certain points. I love worship music, and there are about two worship songs in this new album. But I also love doing straight-up songs that are just about the Christian life.
This has probably been my most enjoyable album. I loved making my album God
, but since it was my second album, there were some feels of insecurity sometimes. Now I’m 11 years in so this new project felt really new- you could find an exciting new adventure on this album!
As you come up with fresh material, how do you go about in finding that new song, sound or theme?
This album amazingly seemed to just kinda flow well in the writing part, which is where I feel carried the most weight. I can’t rely on other people to write songs that come from my heart, so I wrote songs that I can sing passionately in a concert, because it resonates so
I started writing about a year ago. But I think the biggest thing is, I’m just new and revived kind of in a new place. Life and ministry feels a lot more fresh, and a part of that is understanding the importance of rest, which was incredibly renewing for me. So I was just doing a lot of renewing… A lot of songwriting comes from taking a break.
So what’s next? What are your plans… when do you plan on touring when the new album drops?
This year, I’m actually doing a lot of SHE
events, women events. I was doing a couple of them in Australia with Evie, one of the “mothers” of Christian music. She is also my mentor. So Evie has been doing some of these events with me based on my book, and there are some "Girls of Grace" concerts that I’ll be attending. And then we'll do our shows here and there throughout the year, and when the album comes out on November 22, we’ll tour with Barlowgirl in the spring of next year. Oh yea, and there’s this book I am involved in called Sisters Freak
Another book? Wow, you’re awfully busy.
No, I was acting more as the general editor for this book. (Laughs) I would have died
in the process of preparing a new album and two
books this year!
Interviewed by Michael Manny
to read a Rebecca article by Michael Manny.