Unlavish Joel Osteen

A few excerpts from an Orlando Sentinal article titled Televangelist Joel Osteen shuns lavish lifestyle, visits Orlando today and Friday:

If the evangelical world is looking for a poster child to offset the negative publicity surrounding rich televangelists, Joel Osteen would be a good choice.

Osteen lives a much different life.

He has not taken a salary from his Houston megachurch for two years. He owns one house -- the same one he and his wife, Victoria, have lived in for 13 years -- and until recently he drove a 9-year-old car he inherited from his late father. Osteen pays his own hotel bills, and there is no private jet.

Although the upbeat minister does take collections at services, netting an estimated $43 million a year, Osteen does not ask for money on his broadcasts, which reach an estimated 7 million viewers weekly in the U.S. and 100 other countries. Nonetheless, an additional $30 million comes through the mail. His most recent book deal earned him a $13 million advance.

"We make plenty of money from our books," said Osteen, 44. "But we just live normal lives. We try to be conservative and honor God with our life and with our example."


  1. I hate that I am so skeptical about televangelists. But, it's not without reason.

    I've seen a couple of reports on Joel Osteen. He seems to be the real deal (if that's possible with a mega-successful televangelist).


  2. I relate to the skepicism Brian.. I think that it is often warrented.

    I listened to Joel's Thanksgiving message today and was very impressed.. when I am down the Lord seems to use him to raise me up.

  3. He seems pretty humble. He's been criticized for living in a million dollar home, but that's nothing compared to the Joyce Meyers and Benny Hinns out there.

    He makes income from his books. A lot of people don't get that. If I had that income, I'd probably live on a million dollars worth of land myself! :-D

  4. I sure hope it's true. If it is, he will follow the Rev Billy Graham in living a modest life, which is a very appealing witness to his sincerity.

  5. I don't begrudge him living a comfortable life. In general, I think a "minister" should live somewhere around the level of his "flock". Now, when you get these mega-teleministries and have millions of dollars a year flowing through, I'm sure there is a great temptation to take just a percentage off the top which leads to outrageous salaries for some of these guys. They attain rock-star status and think they should live like it.

    Of course, this doesn't apply to Joel. He makes his living not off tithes and offerings but off of his books. If he wants to use his money to have a comfortable lifestyle, I have no problem with that. A million dollar home in 2007 is not a huge deal.

  6. Not sure you caught my post that listed compensation for many ministers and their families.. it is a sad state of affairs.. I think that the extravagent ones draw our attention but many ministries are just plain out of control. It is why I don't support ministers that I don't personally know.

  7. Yup...a million dollar home is nothing these days. I was surprised there was criticism for him living like that when Joyce Meyers has a family compound, houses for all the kids, personal jet, new BMW's, Mercedes, etc., every year.
    KB..I'll check out your salary link.

  8. I confess, I really like listening to and watching Osteen. For some reason many of my Christian friends would give me crap about that.

  9. I like watching Joel too MTR.. he has an unusual ability to make a heart conenction with people.


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