Love him or hate him, megachurch pastor, televangelist, and author Joel Osteen is one rich man of the faith.
Is that why he’s always smiling?
With his uber-positive message, some label it "prosperity gospel," and others say it is more like motivational speaking than preaching, Joel Osteen has become one of the most well-recognized pastors in the world.
Joel claims to draw no salary from the church he pastors–Lakewood Church in Houston, TX, which happens to be the largest church in the United States. Instead, he has built a globally recognized personal brand through pure charisma, public speaking engagements, television show guest appearances, and book sales.
So if Joel doesn’t earn a salary from Lakewood Church, how exactly has he become so wealthy? Let’s dig in to learn all the details about Joel Osteen’s net worth, how he makes money, and how he spends it.
|Joel Osteen’s Net Worth||$100 million|
|Date of Birth:||March 5, 1963|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (172 cm)|
|Source of Wealth:||American pastor, televangelist, and author.|
|Best-Known For:||Pastor and televangelist at Lakewood Church|
Who is Joel Osteen?
Joel Osteen is an American televangelist, theologian, speaker, and author who pastors Lakewood Church in Houston, the largest church in the U.S. Joel was born into a ministry family. His father, John Osteen, started Lakewood Church in the back of an old feed store in 1959. Joel studied at Oral Roberts University but did not graduate. Instead, he set up his father’s television agency and worked alongside him as the publishing supervisor.
Although Joel declined preaching at his father’s request for years, he finally gave his first sermon on January 17, 1999. John died six days later from a heart attack, and two weeks later, Joel stepped into the regular preaching role.
The Lakewood Church congregation installed Joel as the new senior pastor in October 1999. Before stepping into the pastor role, Joel had run the church media department for 16 years. He handled every detail, from directing cameramen and lighting to his father’s clothing and broadcast editing. Joel’s media literacy and marketing and branding skills shaped his role as pastor.
Since Joel became the head pastor at Lakewood Church, attendance has grown from 5,000 to 43,000. Joel's wife, Victoria, serves as his co-pastor. Lakewood Church's televised sermons are seen by more than 10 million viewers weekly.
Joel has nearly as many critics as he does supporters, with many saying he doesn’t teach about God and instead fills his sermons with motivational speaking points. However, the massive viewership of his broadcasts proves his message and brand are well-received worldwide.
What is Joel Osteen's net worth?
Joel Osteen has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
What are the factors that contributed to Joel Osteen's net worth?
Joel has claimed he does not accept a salary from Lakewood Church as the pastor. So what has led to his jaw-dropping net worth? Here are the factors that have contributed to his wealth.
1. Mega Church Ministry
While Joel forgoes the megachurch pastor salary, a significant portion of his income comes from his prominent role in the church and the exposure he receives from the televised and streaming broadcasts each week. He also receives allowances and stipends for travel expenses and can take out credit cards in the church’s name–all tax-free.
2. Book Deals and Royalties
Joel Osteen is the author of more than 15 books, including seven #1 New York Times bestsellers. His 2005 book Become A Better You sold 4 million copies worldwide, earning Joel $13 million in advances and royalties. These days, he reportedly makes $55 million annually from book sales and speaking engagements.
Some of his top-selling books include:
- Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential (2004)
- Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day (2005)
- Your Best Life Begins Each Morning: Devotions to Start Every New Day of the Year (2008)
- It's Your Time: Finding Favor, Restoration, and Abundance in Your Life Every Day (2009)
- I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life (2012)
- Fresh Start: The New You Begins Today (2015)
- The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today (2015)
- Blessed in the Darkness: How All Things Are Working for Your Good (2017)
- Empty Out the Negative (2017)
- The Abundance Mind-Set: Success Starts Here (2020)
- You Are Stronger than You Think: Unleash the Power to Go Bigger, Go Bold, and Go Beyond What Limits You (2021)
- Rule Your Day: 6 Keys to Maximizing Your Success and Accelerating Your Dreams (2022)
3. Television Shows
Joel has made guest appearances on several television shows in addition to his weekly sermon broadcast from Lakewood Church.
His television and documentary appearances include:
- CNN’s Larry King Live (2006)
- Friends of God: A Road Trip with Alexandra Pelosi (2007)
- CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight (2011)
- Words of Art (2014)
- I Hope You Dance: The Power and Spirit of Song (2015)
- The Star (2017)
Joel has also appeared as a guest on FOX News, NBC’s TODAY, and the Christian Broadcast Network (CBN).
4. Merchandise Sales
Lakewood Church has a gift store and apparel line in the church and an online store, so it’s safe to say Joel earns proceeds from merchandise sales. The store features Joel Osteen’s books, Lakewood Church worship music, and a variety of gifts, from hats and beverage tumblers to religious-themed wall art.
5. Sponsored Posts on Social Media
While it’s unclear how much Joel Osteen makes from sponsored posts on social media, he has a massive following on all the major platforms:
- 5 million followers on Instagram
- 10.2 million followers on Twitter
- 25 million followers on Facebook
6. Speaking Engagements
Thanks in part to the popularity of his books, Joel Osteen has been able to take his message out on the road to sold-out sports arenas. In 2005, he had a 15-city U.S. tour in support of his book Become A Better You, preaching to large crowds at each tour stop.
Joel brings in massive checks from his speaking engagements. According to All American Speakers, Joel earns between $100,000 and $200,000 per live speaking event.
How much money does Joel Osteen have?
Joel Osteen has an estimated net worth of $100 million and reportedly makes $55 million annually from book royalties and speaking engagements.
How did Joel Osteen become wealthy?
Joel Osteen became wealthy after writing 15 books, including many bestsellers. He earns his income from book royalties and speaking engagements.
What is Joel Osteen's prosperity gospel?
Some critics of Joel Osteen’s preaching style and message say he is promoting a prosperity gospel, which is a belief that the reward of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians.
What is the size of Joel Osteen's ministry?
Since Joel became the head pastor of Lakewood Church in 1999, the congregation has increased from 5,000 to 43,000. His televised sermons are seen by more than 10 million viewers each week.
How did Joel Osteen become famous?
As the head pastor of Lakewood Church, Joel’s charismatic style and positive, simple sermon messages attracted millions of followers and fame. He became more famous due to his 15 books–many of them being New York Times bestsellers.
Does Joel Osteen own a mansion?
In 2010, Osteen and his wife Victoria purchased a $10.5 million mansion in the affluent Houston suburb called River Oaks. The home sits on 1.86 acres and is 17,000 square feet with six bedrooms, six bathrooms, five fireplaces, three elevators, a one-bedroom guest house, and a luxurious pool. Joel also owns a mansion in the Tanglewood area of Houston worth $2.9 million.
How does Joel Osteen spend his money?
In addition to his mansions, Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria, live a posh lifestyle. Here are some of the ways Joel spends his money:
- Private jet - $68 million-dollar Airbus A319
- $200,000 Lamborghini Urus - a gift from Joel to Victoria
- Designer clothing
- A luxury yacht
- Plastic surgery
Does Joel Osteen's ministry own any stadiums or arenas?
In 2003, Lakewood Church acquired the Compaq Center, the former home of the NBA Houston Rockets.
While you may not be a televangelist (and probably have no desire to be one), there is much to be learned from how Joel Osteen built his net worth. He created a brand and understood how to sell himself to his target audience.
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