Following in his father's footsteps was not in Joel Osteen's future plans, but as we all know, those plans can change very quickly. Joel attended Oral Roberts University in television and communications, but never did receive a degree. He used his knowledge to initiate and conduct the television ministry of his father John Osteen, until he died of kidney complications in 1999. Joel and his wife (Victoria, who was an associate pastor at Lakewood) were propelled into the forefront of the quickly growing Houston Non-denominational church. After Joel began giving the sermons, the attendance grew by leaps and bounds from an average attendance of 5,000 to an extraordinary 28,000 per week. It became the largest in America. So, in 2003, the church bought the Compaq Center (former home of the NBA Houston Rockets) and their journey began. It took 18 months to renovate the arena, and within the first week added 10,000 new members. It remains a popular tourist destination of those visiting the Houston area. Currently, Lakewood draws over 45,000 in weekly attendance. Joel's firm belief held true......... "Believe there are great breaks in your future. Believe for explosive blessings, things like this Compaq Center, home of Lakewood Church. Pray God-sized prayers. You've got to pray for big things. You've got to believe for big things".
The Osteen ministry reaches all across the globe in every U. S. television market, and in more than 100 nations. And then, there is the live streaming over the internet. Osteen has said......."Half the people who watch us don't go to church, so it was our goal to talk to the people outside the church, those who felt that they are not religious people. Jesus did not stay in the synagogue..... he went out in the marketplace....."
Osteen wrote his first book in 2004, entitled, "Your Best Life Now", and remained on the New York Time's Best Sellers List for 200 weeks. His second book, "Become a Better You", in 2007, with a first printing of 4 million copies. It focused more on relationships and moving forward in life.
Joel Osteen does not draw a salary from the church, which has an annual budget of $70,000,000, but he relies on the income generated by his books as his personal worth. He married Victoria Iloff in 1987, and they have a son and a daughter. As of 2012, his net worth was $56,508,500. He resides in Houston with his family in a $10,500,000 compound of houses.
"There's no greater feeling than being able to help people rise higher and overcome something I ng and feel better about themselves. I think that we're all made to help others, to lift people up." Joel Osteen