Pastor Joel Osteen's Spiritual Revolution
July 15, 2005
Armed with his charismatic smile and a message of hope, Pastor Joel Osteen is single-handedly changing the face of Tele-evangelism as we know it -- reaching out, along with his wife Victoria, to 7 million people each week with his TV ministry.
"It's amazing that people have caught on to the message," Osteen admitted. "It really humbles me."
What has also humbled Pastor Joel is the opportunity to build a new church in his hometown of Houston -- and not just any church -- he transformed the former home of the Houston Rockets, the Compaq Center, into a 600,000-square-foot sanctuary for worship. And it's opening this weekend!
"This is where [my wife and I] came on our first date, so we have a lot
of memories here," Osteen said of the center. "From what I'm told,
it's the largest Christian sanctuary in America."
His wife added, "I'm ready to get in here because
it's been such a long time. We're excited. It may be one of the biggest services
of our life."
The Osteen family can now accommodate 16,000 people at each of their Sunday
services at the new Lakewood church, which is double the congregation they
used to have. And people are flocking to them.
"There's something about him that caught my attention," one fan told
Another added, "Even if you're not religious you can still catch something
to grasp onto."
But how much of what Pastor Joel does involves entertaining his viewers? "That's a good point," Osteen said. "You
can't bore them or they won't listen. I try to keep it entertaining, use
personal stories, humor, to keep it pleasant. I do think it's a part of it."
So with a new church, a booming TV ministry, not to mention a New York Times
bestselling book titled "Your Best Life Now," it looks like life
for Pastor Joel and Victoria can't get much better.