As a Nashville studio musician for 20 years, Craig T Olson used to tithe 10%.
Now, in his fifth year as a worship pastor in the Twin Cities, he jokes that he tithes 90%.
Craig T grew up in the LCA and started his pro music career in Folk music. After a running away, and a run-in with God as a young man, he switched into CCM in the mid 70's. It didn't pay the bills. 20 years in the secular music field followed before he took a break and developed three internet-based companies in web development, global vineyard facilitation and an import company. In 2001 he returned to his roots, returned to Minnesota and became a worship leader at New Life Community Church in Minnepolis. In 2004 he became a licenced minister at the church.
"I didn't intend to go into ministry like this," he says with a smile. "They asked me to play one night, then the next Sunday, then the next, then the next. Before I knew it, I had set up all my equipment at the church and the call came!"
That's how Faith Inkubators landed him, too. A friend of Todd Ernster and Rick Barron, Craig was dragged in to sing "Son of His Old Age" (Joseph's song) on the Bible Song album. Next, his daughter Marissa was enlisted to sing "Walk in My Ways" for the confirmation Stepping Stone album. Before he knew it, he was setting up a studio in the mountains of Colorado for our fall Music Guild retreat and directing the process for the recording of 28 songs.
"Craig has a servant's heart," says Rich Melheim, Chief Creative Officer for Faith Inkubators. "He came along without really knowing what God had him there for, and the next thing you know, he was making us all sound better!"
Craig T (yeah, the "T" goes with his name at all times), is also the founder and Executive Director of a new venture, Praise2Worship Ministries. He spent 2004 producing the first worship recording, "Confessions of a Worshipper" and is developing and preparing materials to begin doing worship events on the road. The album is an unusual look into the heart of a worshipper. "Ten new vertical songs flow for an hour without stopping," says Craig. "Intertwined with prayers, scriptures and exortations that lead you from thanksgiving to humility to brokenness before the King."
Craig has also been writing and doing pre-production for the next recording, an all uptempo praise project for Praise2Worship Music. It includes pop, R&B, Swing, Blues and traditional styles and is assembling an "all star holy ghost praise band" for these sessions.
"It is our long term goal to have recordings by new worship writers from all over the world in all styles of music and age groups," he says. "We are trusing God to bring us the writers and musicians with hearts like ours. It doesn't matter what the style of music is as long as it helps the listener come to a place of worship before the King."
Craig feels blessed to be in worship ministry at time when so many other people around the world are feeling the same call on their lives to move from traditional business to worship ministries. His wife Jane of 24 years and three children all contribute to the richness of his life and his musical call.
For his help, his passion, his care and his servant's heart, the Faith Inkubators Music Guild is proud to name Craig T. Olson our Musician of the Month!
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Praise 2 Worship Ministries
P.O. Box 32007
Fridley, MN 55432-0007
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