Pastor Joel Osteen sits down with ABC15

PHOENIX - Seeing Pastor Joel Osteen preaching at Lakewood Church on Sunday is a familiar sight to many, but what's the man like off the pulpit?

"I'm not a performer, so I can be just like I am to you right now," Osteen said.

The 50-year-old husband and father of two is down to earth, even with all his success.

"You know growing up, the church when I was born had about 90 people in it, and of course I knew everybody. You just never dreamed that you'd be having a service in a basketball arena," he said.

Osteen's dad was the original pastor at Lakewood.

"I was behind the camera and I thought that's what I'd do with the rest of my life," Osteen said.

But 14 years ago his father passed away, and Osteen took over.

"It feels very rewarding and humbling to me when I look out and see all those people," he said.

But it's not just the people in church. Pastor Osteen's sermons are seen by millions of people in one hundred nations. He's written best-selling books, and tours the country.

Some critics say Osteen's success, and subsequent wealth, promotes the idea that the more you give to God, the more He will reward you, financially.

"You've been criticized in the past for promoting prosperity gospel. What do you say to those critics?" asked ABC15.

"You know, I never liked that term because it sounds to me like that's somebody who talks only about money, but prosperity to me is having your health and having good relationships and having peace in your mind," Osteen said.

Osteen's has advice for you in 2014.

"See each day as a gift from God. Get up in the morning and choose how you are going to live and I would encourage you to choose to live happy," he said.

You can watch Pastor Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on ABC15.


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