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ZOEgirl seeks God’s plan for their music, not crossover fame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–When ZOEgirl got together as a contemporary Christian music group four years ago, they prayed about what God wanted their vision to be.

“[We] went away on Christmas break and asked each other to think about what we wanted to accomplish with this group, and when we came back we were totally united,” group member Chrissy Conway told Baptist Press.

The group is called first to reach people who have not heard the Gospel, Conway said, and to encourage those who have already made the decision to accept Christ.

Alisa Girard said their target audience is anyone who will listen; the group’s music has become universal, she said, as they’ve matured musically and lyrically.

“I think there are a lot of people from different demographics that would relate … at least that’s our hope,” she said.

While several Christian groups have crossed over to mainstream radio in recent years, ZOEgirl has not been among them. They say that’s not their purpose.

“Basically we write the songs that are about God, about our faith, about issues that deal with that, so we always incorporate what we feel is the message God has given us to write about,” Conway said.

If they put everything in God’s hands by writing the music He wants them to write without pursuing any particular venues, Girard said, then He’ll take care of the outcome.

“If He wants to get it played on a mainstream radio station that’s great, but that’s not what we’re aiming for,” she said. “We don’t fashion our music to be played on that; we just do what we feel that we’re supposed to and leave it in His hands to distribute it.”

After four years as a trio, the girls have had some surprises along the way. Kristin Swinford, the third group member, said she was surprised at the type of schedule a music group must keep.

“I didn’t realize how busy we were going to be,” she said. “But I’m very thankful and very blessed to be [busy], and I think God has opened the doors … and has given us the venues to share our music with. So I guess, maybe just all in all, where as a group [we’ve gone] has been a nice, pleasant surprise.”

Conway added that she has been amazed by the way God has used some of their songs.

“Sometimes I get surprised that things we might write in the studio, they might just come off the top of our heads or we say, ‘I don’t know if it’s going to work,’ and then it turns into something that everyone relates to and it actually really encourages people, and sometimes God uses that song to change their life,” she said. “To know that something that we just wrote out on a paper one day is really having an impact, that is definitely a surprise.”

The Dove Award-winning group sang outside on the LifeWay Christian Resources plaza in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 22.

“They’re a top-selling group through LifeWay stores, and they came and gave us a performance for free as basically a gift to the employees,” David Hassell, director of LifeWay’s corporate events office, said.

Hassell has recently started organizing a “Brown Bag on the Plaza” concert series at LifeWay as a venue for artists to either thank the company for their help in sales or to become more acquainted with the company through meeting employees.

ZOEgirl was also promoting their new album, “Different Kind of Free.”

“It was a fun time for employees to get outdoors and take a break and enjoy some great music,” Hassell said.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: PERFORMING ON THE PLAZA and SEEKING GOD’S PURPOSES.

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