Joel Osteen brings "Night of Hope' to Louisville

Upbeat sermon, music designed to make audience leave feeling better

May 17, 2008 

  • if you go

    Joel Osteen's "Night of Hope'

    When: Doors open, 6 p.m.; event starts at 7:30 p.m. Sunday

    Where: Freedom Hall, Louisville

    Tickets: $15 per person, nine-ticket limit per household.

    Online: www.ticketmaster.com

Mega-church pastor, televangelist and all-around happy guy Joel Osteen is appearing in Louisville Sunday to hold a ”Night of Hope.“

Osteen is a busy man. His ministry includes leading Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, writing best-selling books, and appearing on TV, streaming video and podcasts. From Osteen's Web site ­— http://joelosteen.lakewood.cc/ — you can even sign up for a daily dose of ”Inspiration in your inbox.“

After Louisville, his tour goes to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Antonio, Texas; Chicago, and Calgary, Alberta. In the past two months, he has appeared in Memphis; Greensboro, N.C., and Pittsburgh, Pa. Pittsburgh and Greensboro were both sold out.

Osteen's newest book, Become a Better You is typical of his message. His other books include titles like Starting Your Best Life Now, 30 Thoughts for Victorious Living and Living the Joy Filled Life.

He is known for bringing upbeat, feel-good messages to those listening or reading. He told the Augusta, Ga., Chronicle, ”I grew up positive. I smiled in my baby pictures. The world needs more happy people.“

Though he attended Oral Roberts University for one year, he doesn't consider himself seminary trained. He intentionally focuses his message for ”the everyday person. You don't have to come from a religious background,“ he says.

Andrea Davis, spokeswoman for Joel Osteen Ministries, describes the order of worship for the Louisville event as ”Like a regular church worship service, but a lot more music.“

Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff, from Lakewood Church, will be the worship leader. Davis said they will also bring the musical ensemble from Lakewood for ”lively praise and worship. Pastor Joel and (his wife) Victoria will give a short message at the beginning, then more music.“

Osteen will give a 30-minute sermon. The entire service will probably last several hours. Attendees will also hear from Osteen's mother, Dodie Osteen, and his sister Lisa Comes. Near the end of the evening, Osteen will issue an invitation to come forward to the altar.

His remarks will reflect his core message: God is a good God. Davis said Osteen ”likes to encourage the people of the city“ and doesn't take up specific topics like the Tuesday election.

Osteen always travels with his family, which includes his children, Alexandra and Jonathon, as well as his sister and mother.

And Davis adds, Osteen wants people to ”leave changed. That is his goal (for attendees): to have a new perspective and a great outlook.“

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