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Ten Things I Like About Joel Osteen

Updated on February 20, 2013
Your Best Life Now by Pastor Joel Osteen
Your Best Life Now by Pastor Joel Osteen | Source

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.

Uplifting Sermons

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.

Prolific Writer

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.

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    What I really appreciate about you, Rajan, is the effort you put forth in digging up my older hubs, reading them, and sharing your comments. That means a lot to me, my friend. As busy as you are, when you connect with someone here on HP, you really go the extra mile. That display of character is a significant reason why I dedicated that hub award to you a few months ago. Aloha, my friend!

    Joe

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Though I hadn't heard of Joel Osteen until now, after reading your hub I am convinced of the man's integrity and goodness of heart. This is a beautiful hub, my friend and your reasons sound are very convincing.

    I've seen a lot of TV shows of Bennie Hinn and had mixed feelings about him since he literally miraculously cured severely affected people on stage. But after reading what he felt about Joel Osteen, I too have doubts if he is a true Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ in the truest sense of the word.

    Fantastic hub, my friend.

    Aloha and have a wonderful day!

  • Careermommy profile image

    Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Thank you Joe. That was such a thoughtful comment. i look forward to reading more of your hubs!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Careermommy

    Hi! Thank you for sharing in this hub experience. Joel Osteen helped me realize that we all are truly princes and princesses with God's royal blood coursing through our veins. All my life, I struggled with self esteem issues and the resulting negative consequences. When I began hearing the Word in a hopeful, not condemning, light, it made all the difference in the world. Here's to God's abundant favor in our respective circles of family and friends. Nice to make your acquaintance, and I look forward to soon reading and enjoying your work. Blessings and aloha from SE Washington state.

    Joe

  • Careermommy profile image

    Tirralan Watkins 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Hawaiianodysseus, this was a great hub about Joel Osteen. I really admire and respect him as well. This was very nice of you to share your thoughts. His messages are very powerful and uplifting.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @KoffeeKlatch Gals

    Thank you for sharing your feedback, KKG. I totally agree! Personally, I think God gave a voice to a really shy, behind the scenes kinda guy (reminds me that Moses had the same life-changing experience).

  • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

    Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Joel Olsteen is terrific. He is inspiring and uplifting.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @SwordofManticorE

    Thank you so very, very much for sharing what amounts to your own very powerful testimony. It is very rare--and definitely courageous of you--to testify about the transition from being a critic to being a follower. We never forget that God is at the root of using men and women from all walks of life to be His beacons of light. I don't want to know or serve or have a relationship with someone who's out to criticize me and make life miserable here on earth. I give God the ultimate glory for using Joel Osteen in a way that would help me understand, appreciate, and WANT to love, trust, honor, and follow Him. Thank you so much for enlightening all of us who are blessed to read your wonderful words here. Aloha and prayers from SE Washington state! Joe

  • SwordofManticorE profile image

    SwordofManticorE 4 years ago from Burlington

    I once made a video for YouTube about false teachers wanting only your cash, and I used a picture of Joel and added it to the video. I have deleted the video two years ago. Three weeks ago, as I was looking through my TV guide, I thought I would watch a Joel Olsteen sermon, and to my surprise, his humour and message enlighten me. I look forward to his sermons now every Sunday. I watched a YouTube sermon from pastor John McCarthy rebuking Joel, and I was disgusted with it. His message was dead, and those who were at his sermon lost out at a chance to here encouragement by Joel.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @justateacher

    I like your HP handle and address. : ) Very endearing. Thank you so very much for gracing this hub with your visit and kind comments. Yes, I've watched Joyce Meyers a few times, and I've enjoyed her plain speaking, delightful humor, and spot-on Christian message. Undoubtedly, she is also heavily criticized. I've decided to make my own choices as to who helps me draw closer to and have a better understanding of and relationship with God. At a very simple level, I realize that those who upset the enemy will be under severe attack. In that light, I keep my focus. Have a wonderful rest of the week and a memorable weekend with your loved ones and friends. Blessings and aloha from the Pacific Northwest! Joe

  • justateacher profile image

    LaDena Campbell 4 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

    I love listening to Joel...he always has a great message and his voice is very soothing...I will often listen to him and his messages while driving long distances...another favorite of mine is Joyce Meyers...she's tough and a little on the rough side, but also has great messages...got to see both of these wonders in person last fall and enjoyed it very much.

    celafoe - many of Joel's messages come straight from the Bible. He also adds much to his messages that come from his life or the life of his parishioners.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @donnah

    Donna, I am with you 100%! I'd rather be spiritual than indulge in religiosity. No sooner had I published this hub than I get the very thing I referred to...a hater trying to convince me that my opinion was wrong.

    A writer can only be effective if he or she speaks his or her truth. I know that you practice this in your writing as well as in your work as a director. So I'm confident you know exactly what I'm talking about.

    Certainly, I recognize that Pastor Joel Osteen is a fallible human being like the rest of us. What I enjoy is that he brings a spirit of acceptance, not unlike the Good News message of a man who walked for miles from town to town over 2000 years ago. As I recall from my limited study, He, too, was persecuted by a bunch of haters who were absolutely certain they...and only they...had the true gospel.

    The thing that gets me is how blind the haters are to their own state of being lost.

    So I appreciate the honesty in your message, Donna. I, too, tune out from hateful sermons. They are headed 180 degrees away from the Truth that draws me in.

    Thanks for stopping by so faithfully, Donna! Have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend!

    Joe

  • donnah75 profile image

    Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

    I will admit that as I have grown older, I have grown less religious. Yet, there is something about Joel Osteen that always draws me in. If I have the tv on and flip past him, I always go back, tune in, and really listen. I agree that a great thing about him is his positive message. The last time I was in a tradtional "Christian" church (it wasn't my church or denomination) I felt like the sermon was hateful. If I wasn't there to support my friend on the day of her daughter's christening, I would have walked out. Joel Osteen definitely has the right approach. Great testimonial to him! Voted up.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @wetnosedogs

    Thank you for your kind comments, WND. Joel Osteen will often talk about how his mother had cancer and was given a poor prognosis. In faith, she wrote down every scripture promise regarding good health and put these promises up and claimed them aloud every single day. Her faith brought supernatural healing, and God made her a conqueror. That's the stock Joel comes from, and I know personally that his messages of God's abundant favor in our lives meant all the difference in the world when I had to be physically separated from my family for a season. It's made the difference in my eBay business and here in Hubsville. A lot of cynics and critics point fingers, but the only pointer I care about is the hand of my moral compass. Thanks for your caring and empathy, WND. Enjoy the book!

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Hawaii,

    This is a powerful hub.

    I realize it had to be awfully hard on you to be apart from your family. I can see how Joel Osteen uplifted your sad spirit and that you are so greatful for that.

    I believe I have this book and I will have to look into it.

    Thanks for the great write.

  • celafoe profile image

    charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

    you are right sir He gave us free will even though it will lead us astray where His Word will not.

    Prov 16:25

    25 There is a way that seems right to a man,

    But its end is the way of death.

    NKJV

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, sir. I'm so glad the Savior I believe in gives me the freedom to believe as I do. Blessings and aloha from the Pacific Northwest.

    Joe

  • celafoe profile image

    charlie 4 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

    no question he is charismatic . But unfortunately the gospel he preaches is not the scriptural Doctrine of Jesus Christ. because of the lack of discernment many false teachers like him are being used to lead many astray. You really need to open your bible and check out what he preaches-- it is humanistic not the doctrine of Christ as preached by Paul.