Jonathan Lee is a husband, father, pastor, worship leader and songwriter. But when asked to describe who he is, he answers, “matchmaker.”
“I was created to worship, and to lead others in worship,” he says. “I like to think of myself as a matchmaker between God and man. I want more than anything for people to have a true revelation of who God is because when people truly see Jesus, it changes them forever. That is truly what I am called to do.”
These are matches made in heaven, to be sure, and ones that Lee feels confident his gift of music and leading in worship help make. “People many times have told me that my music helps them see Jesus,” he describes. “There is nothing better than that to me. I do not want people to see me. I want them to see Jesus.”
Lee’s focus on making Jesus famous has attracted many talented artists to record songs he’s written. These include the Newsboys, for King & Country, Phillips, Craig & Dean, Selah, Aaron Shust, Laura Story, Melinda Doolittle, and others. Two of those songs have been nominated for three Dove Awards (Worship Song of the Year for “When The Stars Burn Down” by Travis Cottrell, as well as Song of the Year and Pop Song of the Year for “Proof Of Your Love” by for King & Country).
Lee’s success is well-deserved, according to those who know him best. “Jonathan is someone that I’ve watched closely and believed in for many years,” says Steve Rice, VP of CentricWorship & Centricity Publishing. “It’s time for people to hear not only Jonathan’s songs, but his true heart and talent as an anointed worship leader.”
While Lee tapped into a winning formula as a songwriter, he wasn’t content. The father of one (with another baby due in late 2014) recently transitioned from the road to be the worship pastor at Living To Go Church in Nashville, Tenn. “I want to do more than just music,” he says. “I want to leave a legacy that leads people to Jesus, and pastoring helps me grow and to help others grow around me in my community. I love it."
Although pastoring was the most challenging role he’s taken, it helped him refocus on what was most important. While on a CentricWorship Retreat in 2014, he experienced a spiritual and artistic renewal that is fueling a new season of songwriting.
“It’s very easy to become jaded to something when you do it every day, and between pastoring, writing worship songs, and leading worship songs, you can lose perspective,” he says. “The retreat allowed us to get away with no expectations, except just spending time with the Lord. It was refreshing. Each night we took the songs we wrote, and we worshiped with them. They were powerful nights of worship.”
Ultimately, his goal is to work himself out of a job. “The Lord showed me that it’s my job to equip and train God’s people–not only how to worship, but that they don't need me to take them into His presence. With the Holy Spirit inside, we can all come boldly to His throne. I want to teach people how to get to Jesus, so they don't need me anymore. We can all worship together!”
With that mindset, Lee stays on track as his songs continue to match the hearts of men and women to the heart of a loving Savior. Look for Jonathan’s new project from Oak Tree Productions, "Live At Oak Tree" March 2017.