Joel Osteen recently reported the theft of $600,000 from the safe in his church, but the theft wasn’t the only information of interest revealed. After finding out that this large chunk of money was from just one weekend of Osteen’s collected church donations, jaws dropped around the nation.
According to News Max on March 18, it didn’t take long for folks on the outside to do the math. Based on Osteen’s reported amount of money in this theft, it appears his Lakewood Church takes in an estimated $32 million a year, but some say that is a very low estimate. Calculator keys were punched around the nation taking the $600,000 for Olsteen's weekend donation collection and multiplying this by the 52 weeks in a year.
Many consider this a conservative estimate of donations this church receives, as March is just an average month with no holidays for the church. The spirit of giving around the Christmas holidays has to net this church more than the average week. Then there’s Easter and other holidays, not to mention the weekdays. The amount reported taken from the church was only for their take over a weekend.
Osteen’s church released a statement at the time of the theft last week saying:
"It is important to note this was not an electronic data breach, but was instead limited to donations made in the services on March 8 and 9, 2014. You were not affected if you put your offering in a drop box, you gave online or through other electronic means, or you made a bookstore purchase."
If you combine the stolen money with what Osteen’s church rakes in from “other electronic means” and from the folks who give “online,” this amount must be astronomical. The "electronic" and "online" donations were an undisclosed amount of money that wasn’t included in the money stolen. Putting all this together you are more than likely talking about a substantial amount of money, much more than the estimate of $32 million each year.
With Osteen’s best selling books, his TV work and the tours around the world, Osteen and his church are more than likely reaping rewards that are unimaginable.
If you think about it, this heist got the sum of money that you’d expect to hear was raked in from a casino heist! It seems that the reported theft of the money in Osteen’s church last week opened a new can of worms. It’s the church's astronomical donations that should really be the headlines here. What happened to the days of the poor boxes filled with change?