Journey’s Jonathan Cain Believes His Music is His Fruit
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SUCCESS AND RESPONSIBILITY
When asked how Journey’s immense success affected him, especially as a young man, Jonathan responds differently than one would expect. His focus isn’t on the fame, fortune, or excesses that come with the rock and roll world, though he admits that was all part of the territory.
Instead, Jonathan looks back at those days from his perspective as a committed believer, seeing that God provided tremendous opportunities for five young men. “With the right mindset, success is satisfying and rewarding, you’re on the top of the mountain. It also represents years of failure to get there and shows perseverance.”
Jonathan says that with success comes the responsibility to use it for good purposes. He believes that a Christian’s success should be used to strengthen the church by sharing one’s time, talent, and resources. “The church is the heart of every community,” he states, “and we need to support it.” He comments on how the church has suffered during the pandemic and encourages believers to return to and invest in their local churches.
JOURNEY BACK TO GOD
Jonathan was raised in a Catholic family in Chicago, and has been a believer since his childhood. As a little boy, he wanted to help people and planned to become a priest, but after a heartache, he put God on hold for most of his adult life. When he was eight years old, a fellow student set their school on fire, which resulted in the deaths of 92 children and three nuns. Young Jonathan couldn’t reconcile a loving God with such a senseless tragedy and felt abandoned by Him.
That feeling remained for many years, despite his significant personal and professional successes. Jonathan’s father, Leonard, a staunch Christian, kept encouraging his son in his faith and music career. In fact, Journey’s smash hit, "Don’t Stop Believin" came from Leonard saying those very words to his son when he was struggling to make it in the music business.
Jonathan married twice and had three children by his second wife. It was then he decided to take his kids to church, and also found help and comfort for his past hurts in the counsel of his pastor. Years later, after that marriage ended in divorce, Jonathan started dating Paula White, whom he’d met on a flight. They talked about faith in God, and she told him that God loves him and “wants his son back.” That eventually led him to recommit his life to the Lord, and the two married in 2015. “It’s never too late to return,” Jonathan says. “Look at me.”
MUSIC FOR GOD
Jonathan still plays keyboards, writes songs, and tours with Journey, and has also developed his solo career, producing music to express his renewed faith. He’s written and produced five worship albums in as many years, and is now working on his sixth. “Oh Lord, Lead Us” is his new single from that collection. “I wanted a New Year’s song for the church and based it on a passage in 2 Chronicles about seeking His face,” he says.
“It’s time to make a new commitment to God. Coming out of the Covid lockdown, I wanted to make a statement musically. Being beaten down, closed up, and with churches shuttered by the quarantine lockdowns, it seemed to me that we needed to make ourselves brand new again. Covid was mentally really tough for a lot of people. We needed something with a little joy in it,” he says. “I consider myself a psalmist; my fruit is my music.”
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