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Joel Osteen’s Church Has a $90 Million Annual Budget

Mega-pastor Joel Osteen may not know theology very well, but he sure knows how to rake in the bucks. To put it another way, Osteen is an expert at getting your down-on-their-luck relatives to hand over their money to his "ministry." The proof is in the pudding, so they say, because the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Lakewood Church's annual budget is around 90 million dollars a year.

Lakewood Church's fiscal budget was revealed during the newspaper's series titled "The Preacher's Son." The series "explores the origins and spectacular growth of Houston's Lakewood Church under pastor Joel Osteen." However, the Chronicle and writer Katherine Blunt decided to run a separate piece breaking down the church's budget.

According to the article, here's a rough breakdown of how Lakewood Church uses that 90 million dollar budget:

  • Weekly services and programs: $31.7 million
  • Night of Hope events: $6.7 million
  • TV ministry: $25.1 million
  • General and administrative: $11.5 million
  • Fundraising: $11.9 million
  • Mission and outreach: $1.2 million

There are two related things that I find sad, albeit not surprising, about how Osteen and company spend their many millions. Most of that big pile of money is spent on furthering Osteen's brand while a tiny fraction of it is spent on evangelizing the lost. And by a tiny fraction, I mean just a bit over 1 percent.

With 90 million dollars at their disposal, it's disgusting that a church that professes to believe and teach the Bible only manages to give 1.2 million dollars to missions and outreach.