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Ten Things I Like About Joel Osteen
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That Boyish Grin
Grinning comes easily to Joel Osteen.
With him, what you see is what you get.
No false pretenses, no arrogance, no pomp and circumstance.
The senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has a ministry that reaches over seven million broadcast viewers in over 100 nations around the world.
That's over seven million testimonials to the unassuming power and acceptance of a genuine smile.
Humble Response to Criticism
Joel Osteen has recently encountered heavy attack from other pastors, televangelists, and talk show hosts.
Bennie Hinn declared on national and global television that he wants to punch Joel Osteen out. Is that the mark of a Christian? Or of the beast?
Piers Morgan has a sneakier agenda. He doesn't really care how Joel answers his questions. He just wants to trap Joel into condemning certain segments of the population. Morgan's interests are purely self-serving. It's all about ratings.
There are lots of other critics, and in America, everyone has the right to freedom of speech.
If I could offer a bit of constructive criticism to Joel Osteen, I would simply say, "Brother, quit doing interviews. Your forte is in encouraging and motivating Christians. Stay with your strengths."
Nevertheless, one of the things I like about Joel Osteen is his humble response to criticism. It's an example a lot of men, myself right at the top of the list, would be wise to emulate.
Great Sense of Humor
Joel Osteen begins every sermon with a funny story. It's always done in good taste and in the right spirit of preparing for an encouraging and upbeat message peppered with the strong foundation of God's Word.
Sometimes, Joel humorously picks on his brother, Paul. It's a fun family dynamic, and the people in the congregation as well as the viewers all over the world get a real kick out of that.
What I like is that this is no stuffy preacher. This is no Pharisee with a lot of outward show but lacking in the ability to connect with others. This is a fallible man presenting the Word of God at a grass roots level, sensitive to the fact that every human being needs to have a sense of belonging.
What better way to share in the experience of the human condition than with humor.
Spouse Busily Involved in His Ministry
Victoria Osteen is actively involved in her husband's ministry.
What I like is that this beautiful woman is not relegated to hiding in the shadow of her husband. Neither is she propped up to be a trophy wife. Instead, it's very clear to everyone that she is his helpmeet. More importantly, she is God's helpmeet.
Her devotional talks are filled with scriptural references.
And always, there is this sense that she is speaking extemporaneously. It's not a polished delivery, and that's why I like it.
Because it's honest and from the heart.
My experience is that I get a little spoiled after hearing a Joel Osteen sermon.
What I mean is that it's full of spiritual meat, if you will. It nourishes my marrow. It feeds my soul. It quenches my thirst for Living Water.
A few years ago, I was separated from my family because of employment in the Seattle area. It was an unfortunate yet necessary decision at the time.
Frankly, I hated every minute of it.
One of the things I found solace in was Joel Osteen's sermons. I would wake up at 4 AM every Sunday morning, prepare a cup of coffee, and have my notebook, pen, highlighter, and Bible ready for a spiritual feast.
And I was never disappointed.
Sometimes, a sermon would touch me so deeply that I would call the main office of Joel Osteen Ministries and give a small donation in order to get a copy to share with both my nuclear family as well as my family of origin.
What I like about Joel Osteen is that he helped me survive--physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually--a very challenging period in my life.
Promotes a Christ-Centered Faith
There are some who say that Joel Osteen doesn't preach about Christ.
I say hogwash to that.
Literally, at the end of every sermon, Joel invites everyone to ask Jesus to come into their hearts with a very simple prayer. He encourages everyone to attend a Christ-centered church.
I like that Joel Osteen never forgets that Jesus is at the hub of everything.
Honest About His Shortcomings
What I especially like about Joel Osteen is that he doesn't swell up with pride about his successful ministry.
He liberally uses self-deprecating humor. Even when he playfully brags on himself, it's done in a playful spirit that accentuates the clear cut message that he is nothing without God.
He silently reminds himself as he shares aloud with us the idea that he never went to seminary.
But then again, none of the twelve disciples Jesus handpicked ever went to Pharisee school.
What I like about Joel Osteen is that there are points to be gleaned from all of this...
That God uses the weak to be strong leaders.
That He came to save sinners.
That He accepts us just as we are...with ALL of our shortcomings.
Substantive Messages Without Condemnation
I have never heard a word of condemnation come out of the mouth of Joel Osteen.
I like that about him.
I like that a lot!
Repetitively Employs and Reinforces Key Concepts
We are more than conquerors.
We are victors, not victims!
God didn't make you to be average.
We receive what we believe.
Stop talking to God about how big your mountains are, and start talking to your mountains about how big your God is!
These are some of the things Joel Osteen keeps repeating time after time after time.
What I like about Joel Osteen is that he's a broken record of uplifting messages.
Joel Osteen has written several inspirational and motivational books, some of which topped the New York Times best selling list week after week.
He writes and prepares his powerful sermons each week.
He writes a daily devotional and has it sent out to millions via the wonder of the internet.
Joel Osteen believes in the power of the spoken and written word.
What I like about Joel Osteen is that he inspired me to make goals for my life, goals based on the principles I so carefully listened to in his sermons or read in his books and applied to my life.
From time to time, as you continue to read my articles, you will see Pastor Joel Osteen's influence in my writing, a secondary light to the greater light of God.
So there you have it, dear reader...ten reasons why I like Joel Osteen.