Evangelistic husband and wife singer/songwriter duo, The Cashmans, are prepping for the long awaited national release of their CD,City of God, which is slated to impact retail March 1, 2019, from CLG Distribution, and will be available from major online retailers including iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.
Jonathan and Britney Cashman both encountered God's love and grace in New England in 1999 and dedicated their lives to Christ and to the work of furthering the gospel. Married in 2006, they have since used their writing and musical abilities to minister together and serve their local churches in New England, Nashville, Tennessee, and Orlando, Florida, where they served as worship leaders for Calvary Assembly of God and Jonathan also served as Life Groups Pastor.
Jonathan holds a bachelor's degree in theology from Northpoint Bible College and is also the writer/composer of the 40 song, bi-lingual musical, SAVIOR, along with its accompanying devotional book and small group materials,40 Days with the SAVIOR (co-written by Dr. Andrew Sargent). These original resources, along with their newest full length worship CD, City of God, Britney's worship CD, Surrender, their EP, In the Light, and their latest book, GO!: Making 21st Century Disciple Makers, serve as effective church resources.
In 2014, The Cashmans followed a call of God to travel and expand their reach to churches and communities across the United States. Jonathan and Britney now apply their combined 30+ years of ministry experience to full time music ministry, traveling to approximately 150 dates per year and helping to serve and build the local church across America and internationally. They utilize the arts to present the hope of the gospel and the Great Commission to go and make disciples in a creative and contemporary format. Their desire is to see people grow in their relationship with Christ through authentic worship, relevant evangelism and purposeful discipleship.
Q: Thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourselves, who are the Cashmans?
We are husband and wife Christian recording artists, songwriters, and published authors who share a strong desire to see people's lives changed with the hope of the gospel. We both come from New England, but have very different stories and backgrounds. Britney came to Christ in her early teens through her Christian school and Jonathan through the guitarist in his rock band in his early twenties. Both of us felt God's strong call to write songs for Him very early in our Christian walk. Music is also how we met... we were both playing our songs at the same venue outside of Boston. Then Britney asked me to produce a worship song for her. We got together and have been writing and singing with one another ever since.
Q: How would you describe your sound and the sort of music you release?
Our new album "City of God" would fall into the Pop/CCM and Modern Worship category. As a duet singing and playing live, however, we like to play around with our style, ranging from Pop/CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) and worship, all the way to what we'd call modern "rootsy acoustic." Both of us really enjoy exploring styles within that spectrum, and find the slight variety refreshing. Since we're a duo, most all of our music plays upon our strong vocal harmonies, and as songwriters, we're always intentional about delivering a message with our songs that glorifies God and helps draw others closer to Him.
Q: Congratulations on your new album "City of God." Why did you call this record "City of God"?
The chorus of our title track gets at it, "We will go, to the world He so loves, we will go, building the City of God." It's a great concept, encouraging the listener into a great commission-to "Go into all the world and make disciples" as Jesus calls us to do. Saint Augustine wrote a treatise after the fall of Rome, in the early 400's called "City of God". In it, he describes two societies, the City of God and the City of Man. These "cities" illustrate two spiritual powers, "faith and unbelief," which have been in contention with each other since the fall of creation. The City of God is the Church, leading people to Christ, to the grace and goodness of God. This is the mission we are called into-to go, and make disciples... go, and build the City of God.
Q: Do you write your own music together? Does songwriting come easy for the two of you?
We've been writing and creating music since before we met over 15 years ago. Songwriting has always been something we were both innately drawn to do, and have been practicing songwriting and our instruments since we were kids. We met through music and very quickly began creating and collaborating together. It came very natural to us. When it comes to songwriting methods and approaches though, we tend to have different ways of going about it. Britney tends to write from the piano through intimate times of prayer and worship and Jonathan, having more of a classic rock background, writes usually from the guitar through various inspirations, usually sparked from out of a message. With every song (or sometimes partial song), we've gotten into the habit of taking it to the other person first for their honest opinion and often to help finish or fine tune it. It's an editing process we go through with each other, and we find that this works well for us.
The past few years, however, we've been writing more together, along with some incredibly talented co-writers here in Nashville. This process has been new and challenging in a positive way for us because it has caused us to stretch out of our comfort zone and collaborate in a small-group setting. At first, we were a little hesitant because songwriting has always been a very personal, intimate practice for us, but we were open to trying it and we're so glad we did. It's been wonderful to see what the Lord is able to inspire in a room of people whose hearts are united with the same purpose to glorify God and impact lives with the hope of the gospel. A lot of heart and intentionality went into the writing of the songs on our album "City of God" and we're praying they're impactful to the listeners as well!
Q: What would you say was the most rewarding song you have crafted for this record?
Britney wrote a song called "Home" once we were almost done recording, and because of that, it nearly didn't make it onto the album. We're so glad it did, because out of all of the songs on "City of God" this one has probably been the most rewarding and impactful. At the time she wrote it, we were moving from Orlando, where we lived and served as worship leaders (and Jonathan also as Small Groups Pastor) at a large church in the area. We felt called to sell our house and move back to Nashville to further our music ministry. We had recently renovated our new home and had settled comfortably into a place we were expecting to stay in for a while, so it was a difficult move that came with a fair share of uncertainty. Both having grown up in broken homes, we, especially Britney, were well-acquainted with moving and instability. We had just put the "For Sale" sign in the front yard, and Britney, being overcome with emotion for all that this reminded her of and represented in her life, sat down at the piano and began crying out to the Lord. When Jonathan came home, she showed him the song she'd written.
"When I (Jonathan) heard it, I knew we absolutely had to record it. Britney had a moment with God that day where the Lord reminded her that in the shelter of His presence, she's home. When playing 'Home' live, she shares a bit of her testimony and the hope and strong security we as believers have in Christ, and it's been really powerful to see how this message and song resonates and personally connects with so many people."
Q: Who else has worked with you on this album, in terms of songwriters and producers?
We co-wrote a lot with Sarah Hart and our producer, Ian Eskelin. They are both very different in their approach to a song, but both brilliant in their own unique ways. Sarah is very deep and thoughtful in her lyrics and melodies, and Ian has amazing pop sensibilities. We also wrote with Brian White and Bekah White on a couple. It was a super fun and rewarding effort to write songs around what we felt like the Lord had been burdening our hearts with-messages that remind us of His presence, His gospel and His call to all of us to go into the harvest.
Q: Both of you are also authors, tell us about the books you have had written.
Our latest book "GO! Making 21st Century Disciple Makers" goes hand-in-hand with this album. It is a guide of sorts, a help for the Church on modern day disciple-making. Jesus commands us to go and make disciples, but numbers show that we are not doing a great job at this in the American Church today. Through our touring, singing, and speaking this message to churches all across the US, doing 100 to 150 dates a year, the resounding response from the congregations motivated us to put this message down in a book to help answer the many and similar questions we were getting. Disciple-making can be daunting for many people, so we wrote from our personal experiences as both products of personal discipleship and small group pastors, and joined our efforts along with Dr. Andrew Sargent PhD. to help people overcome what we call "self-inflicted disqualifiers" and get engaged in the Great Commission to go make disciples.
"GO! Making 21st Century Disciple Makers" comes on the heels of our devotional book called "40 Days with the SAVIOR." The 40 chapters in this book cover the Passion Week and coincide with 40 songs of a musical we wrote called SAVIOR. We've also written a Small Group Leader's Guide to facilitate "40 Days with the SAVIOR" small groups. Though it is available now on our website www.TheCashmans.org, all of SAVIOR (including books, music, and a full package of church resources) is set to release in January 2020.
Q: What's your hope for this record? How do you wish these songs would impact the lives of your listeners?
Our hope is that the songs encourage people in their walk with Christ, and help them to see Jesus and hear His call a little clearer. We also want to remind the Church of His presence in our lives, and inspire them to share the hope of Christ, wherever they are, and build the City of God.
For more information on The Cashmans and City of God, and GO!: Making 21st Century Disciple Makers, visit thecashmans.org.