Joel Osteen Essay

1369 Words6 Pages
America and Christianity have long intertwined histories that have fostered strong parallels that can be drawn between these institutions’ ideal. It is for this reason that the modern evangelical Christian practice of televangelism emerged and thrived for much of modern American history, and, subsequently, became a profound and concentrated embodiment of American values and ideals. However, the most compelling and relevant example of televangelism as the embodiment of American ideals and values is Joel Osteen, the pastor and figurehead of the largest megachurch and religious organization, as well as one of the wealthiest American religious leaders. Building his career off these intertwined histories and ideals, Osteen’s career and preachings have greater…show more content…
To begin, Osteen’s career is founded on the social mobility that televangelism offered his father, John, who began his ministerial career preaching in a feed store converted into Lakewood church, and ended his career as the beloved minister of upwards of fifteen-thousand congregants.5 After his John passed away in 1999, Joel was able to build off of the momentum that his father’s success laid out for him to create one of the largest megachurches in America, boasting an average of thirty-thousand attendees each week, not including the millions of televisual attendees who watch or listen from home. The congregation’s growth, generated by Joel’s succession of his father’s role as head pastor, made Osteen a household name and launched him to stardom. This made his business as a minister and author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, incredibly lucrative, allowing him to surpass the success and wealth of his father, tying televangelist and America ideals together by embodying the American ideal of social
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