If you take into consideration the way #Joel Osteen operates then the term "businessman" is a more fitting term rather than attaching "pastor" to his name. This is especially true when describing his role in the world today. Osteen and other megachurch pastors like him have moved so far away from the simple things in life in lieu of mansions, luxury cars and many extras that the average person will just never experience.
The "foremost researcher of modern Christianity in the country," George Barna, has spent the last few years researching where these #Megachurch Pastors stand with the politics of the day. While finding it is actually the church that sees to it there's a separation of church and state, he also found the recipe for success for these mega-leaders of these super-sized churches. Barna compiled information on what is of importance to pastors like Joel Osteen and the other megachurch leaders of today when it comes to success. Osteen is one of the more popular and successful pastors of the megachurches in this nation.
Recipe for success
According to Barna, the vast majority of these TV pastors measure their success from the attendance at their church and the amount of money that is given to the church. Then it's the number of programs that the church offers and the number of staff the church employs as a success indicator. Lastly, it's the square footage of their church facilities that factors into their recipe for success. This is the definition of success, according to today's megachurch pastors, reports Barna.
There's nothing in this list about the religious message the pastors are passing on to their parishioners. According to Barna, today's pastors watch and learn from Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, along with other successful megachurch pastors. If you want this kind of success in your church, who better to seek out for an example, but one who is already reaping success?
While all the megachurch pastors have this recipe in common, it was back in 2014 when Joel Osteen reported his church had been broken into and the amount of money that the thieves made off with actually opened a can of worms for Osteen. It was reported that the culprits made off with $600,000 from the safe inside the church, but when it was learned that the amount taken was just one weekend collection, jaws dropped around the nation.
Do the math!
Calculators came out and the collection of $600,000 from one weekend was calculated into "at least" $32 million, which was "based on the theft math," according to Newsmax back then. This was just the donations made inside the church, not the money collected from the TV services, which is done electronically. This $600,000 came from the collection that was taken on March 8th and 9th 2014 at the church from the people in attendance. The money given electronically, the money in the drop box, online donations and sales from Osteen's books were not included in this amount.
When you add all of the money that was collected and not stolen to the money that was, you are talking a fortune. Osteen did receive some sympathy for that theft, but this massive amount of money made for one weekend worth of services started an online storm of criticism.
According to Fox News in an archived article from 2014 about the theft, more than 40,000 people attend services at Joel Osteen's church each weekend. The services are also televised to almost 100 countries. This is the definition of a megachurch for sure! It is easy to see why these megachurch pastors would consider attendance and dollar amount given to define their success.
Almighty dollar measures success
Osteen and the other megachurch pastors who have risen to this level of success continue to be the examples that the new pastors of this world follow so they too can call their "church" successful. What happened to following the example of the man who walked in sandals while spreading the good word, that same man who was born in a manger? #Megachruch money