Joel Osteen is an author, televangelist, and the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. His ministry reaches over seven million broadcast media viewers weekly in over 100 nations around the world.
After 17 years producing the church’s television program, Joel Osteen succeeded his father on October 3, 1999, as pastor of Lakewood Church. He had only preached once in his life, the week before his father’s death. Today, Lakewood Church services, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, are seen in over 100 nations around the world. Joel Osteen’s first book, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, was released in October 2004. In December 2006, he was named one of the year’s “Ten Most Fascinating People” by Barbara Walters. Former presidential candidate John McCain has described Osteen as “inspirational”.
Currently, Joel Osteen and several Lakewood Church personnel travel across the nation, presenting programs in large arenas. The event, titled “A Night of Hope”, includes worship music led by the church’s music ministry, a sermon from Osteen and a testimony by his mother, Dodie. In 2007, the tour expanded to include stops in several other countries, including Canada, England, Northern Ireland and Israel. Osteen released his second book, titled Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day in October 2007, which also topped the New York Times Best Sellers List with a first printing of four million copies. Osteen told Larry King the new book will focus more on relationships and not getting stuck where we are in life. “Just my basic message of becoming all God’s created you to be,” he added.
Joel Osteen’s popularity led to him being featured as one of ABC News’ “10 Most Fascinating People of 2006″, and was named “Most Influential Christian in America” in 2006 by The Church Report.
On the December 23, 2007, edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace brought up Joel Osteen’s lack of Scripture reference in his sermons, as well as his hesitancy to discuss sin as an integral part of life. Osteen responded: “And I am ultimately trying to do that, but I’m trying to teach people how to live their everyday lives, and so I do focus on it, probably not as much as some people would like.” Osteen says that he chooses to focus on the goodness of God rather than sin. Osteen explains that he tries to teach Biblical principles in a simple way, emphasizing the power of love and a positive attitude. In an appearance on Piers Morgan Tonight in January 2011, Osteen mentioned he had never attended seminary.
Joel Osteen’s sermons and writings are often criticized for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that wealth and power are rewards for pious Christians.
How Joel Osteen Made His Money – Author and Television Personality
Estimated Net Worth: $41 Million
Birthday: March 5, 1963