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Lakewood Church To Replace Compaq Center


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Check out this website of the new lakewood church central, and scroll down to Vision and click on windows media. They will show you everything that the new building will have in the video. This is going to be a great facility not only for churchgoers, also for the public and business.

http://www.lakewood.cc/intl_center_information.htm

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It was great to see Lakewood Church the centerpiece of ABC World News Tonight the other night with Peter Jennings. His topic was Red States, Blue States, and the focus was on the new kind of televangelism today with young preachers such as Joel Osteen making such a strong impact across party lines with his nondenominational approach. Great to see Houston featured prominently in such a positive way by Mr. Jennings (for a change...).

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Uh. No. Bishop T.D Jakes Church in Dallas will still be larger, the guy out in San Antonio, two in LA and Dollars church hear in Atlanta will still be larger. Well I'm not 100% sure arout Dollar since his church looks huge from the outside. It's a Dome.

Will Dollar's be called, "The AstralDome"? Or should it be, "The Inspire Dome?"

In regard to the size of the lakewood church compared to others, I honestly have no clue. I was surprised by Empiro's statement of the fact, but I was waiting for additional statements to prove or disprove his statements.

Ricco

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They said the new Lakewood church central will be the largest in the U.S. (have you seen the video?) so I don't know where you getting your info from h-townrep.

Well technically there can be more than one way of saying it's the largest church. Are they talking about largest in membership? Or are they talking about largest church building with the highest seating capacity for services? These two numbers are independent of each other and could both be used to stake claims to "largest church" because the word church itself can be taken to mean different things.

I saw the ABC report the other night and thought it was pretty favorable. While nondenominational television preachers aren't my style (I prefer a non-mega-church where people aren't concerned about being the largest and having thousands of members) the report was informative and did highlight the power some of these preachers have. My only complaint was they interviewed that Joyce Myers woman. She really grates on my nerves -- she's so bossy and loud. Every time I'm flipping channels and she's on I can't believe how many people are actually there listening to her rant. But, at least they didn't interview John Haggee (sp?) from San Antonio. He REALLY creaps me out. At least Joel Osteen doesn't get so hung up on the hellfire and brimstone guilt thing like some of them do.

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Uh. No. Bishop T.D Jakes Church in Dallas will still be larger, the guy out in San Antonio, two in LA and Dollars church hear in Atlanta will still be larger. Well I'm not 100% sure arout Dollar since his church looks huge from the outside. It's a Dome.

I don't know about any of the others you listed (and can't verify or dispute since you don't give us any names), but the TD Jakes Church in Dallas seats 8,000, barely bigger than Lakewood's CURRENT facility. As you can see on the Lakewood site, the new Lakewood worship center will seat more than 16,000.

I must say, one of the more tiresome and annoying things about this board is when people throw out "facts" without checking them out first.

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The new Lakewood facility, with an 16,000 seat Sports and Concert Arena, will provide a world-class venue for entertainment, personal enrichment and family growth. The International Broadcast and Production Studio will take programs, and seminars throughout the world via television, radio, books, tapes and the internet. Our Health and Wellness Center will provide back- to-school programs while assisting the community with personal fitness and health related issues. A Dining and Retail Plaza will be a gathering place for surrounding businesses and provide a variety of resources to our congregation. Lakewood's Conference and Convention Center will attract organizations from around the world and present programs and seminars that will meet the diverse needs of an international city. And that's only the beginning, The Lakewood International Center will be a gathering place for thousands from all around the world
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I have to agree. At this point, I feel like they're selling Christianity, instead of just being it.

Glen

what do you mean by selling christianity? what's wrong with a new building for Lakewood? so would you feel better if they worshipped in a shack that seats 8.maybe that would do for the church i attended in my hometown of 16,000 people. this congregation is over thirty thousand people. wouldn't you want another building that would accomodate that capacity?that's like hosting houston's next superbowl in robertson stadium. i don't have a problem with preachers being on television because it's being used as a tool to reach as many people as possible. that's how you should look at it.

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(The above information is taken from Lakewood's website.)

Reading this particular paragraph makes me wonder if the new centrally located Lakewood will usurp some of the power and prestige formerly reserved for Second Baptist, such as the hosting of "Prayer Breakfasts" for politicians and their ilk. Second Baptist also seems to be the place for funeral services of prominent Houstonians and fallen police officers. Will this change now because of the increased services and proximity of Lakewood? I wonder...

I doubt that will happen. Houston Second Baptist is snugly located in one of the city's finer areas, and the type of connections they've built up over the decades would probably be hard to break.

I'd be interested in a mini-history of churches in Houston. What were the big power-churches at different times? When did their influence rise and fall? Was South Main Baptist the big thing before Second Baptist was? Was it always the Baptists who were on top? Did they ever have revivals at Buffalo Bayou? And, if so, did children ever disappear in the water, never to be seen again?

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Well technically there can be more than one way of saying it's the largest church. Are they talking about largest in membership? Or are they talking about largest church building with the highest seating capacity for services? These two numbers are independent of each other and could both be used to stake claims to "largest church" because the word church itself can be taken to mean different things.

I saw the ABC report the other night and thought it was pretty favorable. While nondenominational television preachers aren't my style (I prefer a non-mega-church where people aren't concerned about being the largest and having thousands of members) the report was informative and did highlight the power some of these preachers have. My only complaint was they interviewed that Joyce Myers woman. She really grates on my nerves -- she's so bossy and loud. Every time I'm flipping channels and she's on I can't believe how many people are actually there listening to her rant. But, at least they didn't interview John Haggee (sp?) from San Antonio. He REALLY creaps me out. At least Joel Osteen doesn't get so hung up on the hellfire and brimstone guilt thing like some of them do.

first of all, every preacher has a different calling.second of all, your "hellfire and brimstone guilt" view is strongly misinterpreted. iw ill leave it at that.
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Check out this website of the new lakewood church central, and scroll down to Vision and click on windows media. They will show you everything that the new building will have in the video. This is going to be a great facility not only for churchgoers, also for the public and business.

http://www.lakewood.cc/intl_center_information.htm

This is great news for Christians all over Houston.
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I'm talking about membership when it comes to TD Jakes and sise when it comes to Creflo Dollar. TD jakes membership is over 55,000 members strong. Building wise, the old Western Forem which is a church now has over 16,000 seats. Plus the video never said it will be the largest, it said it will be one of the largest. Get that fact strait.

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Religion Gets Supersized at Megachurches

By Amy C. Sims, FOX NEWS SERVICE

Ask Americans what Sundays are for, and many are likely to give you one of two answers: watching sports or going to church.

These days, a growing number of "megachurches" may satisfy both camps, providing entertainment and an uplifting message to crowds so big they rival the attendance at sporting events.

There are currently 842 megachurches -- non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants -- that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday, according to the research group Church Growth Today.

These massive holy houses attract churchgoers by the thousands with celebratory services that tout contemporary music, television screens and sermons that aren't "churchy," according to the pastor of the nation's largest church. But critics say the sin-free pep rallies don't encourage personal transformation and reflection, keystones of religion.

Instead of a pulpit, pews and a group of familiar faces found at traditional community churches, megachurches can resemble a campus.

"They are so large you can select the activity that you like," said Ken Woodward, Newsweek's contributing editor who covers religion. "If you want to lose weight Jesus' way, you can join the weight-loss program or join a basketball team ... These churches have so many people they don't just sponsor a team, they sponsor a league.

"Not everybody can afford to join a country club."

At the biggest church in the country, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week -- and sin is not on the menu. Osteen said his goal is to "give people a boost for the week."

"I think for years there's been a lot of hellfire and damnation. You go to church to figure out what you're doing wrong and you leave feeling bad like you're not going to make it," Osteen said. "We believe in focusing on the goodness of God."

Critics say magachurches' party-like atmosphere takes the spirituality out of Sunday services.

"It tends to be a guilt-free, sin-free environment," said Woodward. "These places are a bit too bubbly. ... It's very chummy with God."

Richard Wise, a 20-year member of the small, traditional Wesley United Methodist Church in Union City, Ind., said he finds this type of service perplexing.

"Sin is in life and sin is everywhere, we are all sinners," he said. "If you just leave church feeling good you are missing the whole point. The point is you need a purpose in life."

Wise's church draws about 150 people for Sunday service and he said the size pays off with close-knit relationships and a feeling of community.

"We call on a lot of individuals from our church because we know them," he said. "We visit them when they are sick or take communion or flowers to them."

Osteen defends Lakewood's ways, saying the lively and inclusive atmosphere is attracting a whole new generation of parishioners.

"I have parents tell me all the time that their kids will sit down and watch us on TV or that they want to come to the service because it's simple and something they can understand," he said.

Some Lakewood qualities that appeal to a younger set are "the best lighting and the best sound system," a youth ministry program that attracts hundreds, and every service kicks off with 30 minutes of upbeat contemporary music -- not hymns -- played by a live band.

"It's not a churchy feel," Osteen, 40, said. "We don't have crosses up there. We believe in all that, but I like to take the barriers down that have kept people from coming. A lot of people who come now are people that haven't been to church in 20 to 30 years."

However, those used to a personal touch in their religion aren't convinced.

"[People] can go and enjoy the service but really don't have to participate," said Wise. "But it's that participation that really makes for a good Christian."

While the number of megachurches has doubled since 1998, they still only represent 1 percent of all churches in America, said John Vaughan, founder of Church Growth Today and author of "Megachurches & America's Cities." But he added that many people are discovering that bigger can be better for them, and the variety of service times and activities provides flexibility many modern families need.

"They have multiple staff able to specialize and mobilize people with a diversity of needs. The really large church has a myriad of small groups, which is really where the heart of the church is," he said. "The reason these churches grow large is because they know how to care for their members."

Lakewood's attendance has grown so massive that the church recently bought the Compaq Center, a former sports arena, which is being remodeled to hold an even larger congregation.

"This will be the first church in the country to see 35,000 people," Vaughan said.

The seriousness of traditional churches scared many parishioners away, Osteen said, but the warm hug delivered by megachurches like his is bringing them back.

"I think it's a place of life and victory," he said. "They want to be encouraged and uplifted."

But Woodward said this approach to religion isn't helping parishioners.

"If I'm already a pretty good guy, why do I have to go to church to hear that?" he asked. "Sin really has disappeared from the pulpit. lt's too much of a downer, I'm afraid."

Wise also doesn't agree with the idea of cloaking religion in church in order to boost numbers. "I guess I kind of thought that was what church was about," he said.

"I don't see how you could put God first in your life if all you're going to do is go to church and feel good about being there. I enjoy good music and a good sermon, but what did you really get out of the message?"

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I'm talking about membership when it comes to TD Jakes and sise when it comes to Creflo Dollar. TD jakes membership is over 55,000 members strong. Building wise, the old Western Forem which is a church now has over 16,000 seats. Plus the video never said it will be the largest, it said it will be one of the largest. Get that fact strait.

look, i don't know the exact number of members lakewood has,but joel osteen has been on TBN , DAYSTAR, and ABC and all of those stations report that lakewwod has the largest church (members)in the country.what better reference do you need?

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The Potter's House (TD Jakes) has more than one building, each with different seating capacity. They also hold four church services (not including Wednesday Bible Study) a week.

As of 2002, they had 28,000 members. Their main seating facility holds 8,200, while others seat 2,500 and 500. The 8,200 seat facility is used for services, the 2,500 seat auditorium is used solely as a concurrent children's church, and the 500 seat chapel is for weddings and small services.

The church currently has a 400 acre site under construction which will feature a new auditorium, educational facility, offices, recreational and cultural centers, and retirement homes.

TD Jakes has sermons and shows on TBN three times a week and once a week on BET.

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The current facility at Lakewood is 8,500, I've been told.

Though I live in College Station, I attend every week and have been doing so for over a year now--because I want to.

I liked the report that was posted with the people talking about preaching about sin and how churches like Lakewood aren't doing it enough...

I disagree to some extent--Pastor Osteen has been speaking more and more on our responsibilities as Christians to all people, and I like that. I've never been too much into the "ask God what you want and you can have it" stuff that some preachers do today. Osteen talks about waht God has for you and wants for you--and he's right. But he also tells us, if you can't get ___ right or if you let ___ get in the way and so on, then you won't get to enjoy God's best in this life.

By the way, his new book is now #1 on the New York Times best sellers list for non-fiction books.

Another thing--did you all know that Osteen has only been preaching for 5 years? If you hear his story, he was never one to want to preach--he was all about trying to appeal to people through TV and media--which is one reason why Lakewood has grown so much.

jmancuso, you mentioned no megachurches up north, but Osteen did have 19,000 at MSG in New York on a Thursday night and then 24,000 (19,000 in the arena and 5,000 in an overflow theater) the Friday night following.

One more thing, the Spanish pastor at Lakewood (who isn't even Spanish) has won 2 Latin Grammys for Christian albums.

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Actually Lakewood Church has a membership base of 25,000+ currently - it will grow dramatically once it moves into the new facility.

Joel Osteen will continue to hold 4 SERVICES every weekend to host the 25000+ who will come in...

I know this because i'm a member of LWC myself... =)

Yes, it' will become the largest church in the world. (if not already - based on membership not seats)

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Some of y'all don't read. The article tells you plan and simple who is the largest church, Lakewood, and people come up with some church called what Potter's House?! I think you haven't even seen the video I posted last week? Even an article that Pineda posted tells you plan and simple.

What church is going to have an ice rink, basketball, entertainment for concerts, conventions, a youth center that look like chuck e chesse inside, retail and dinning complex, offices, etc. Then on top of it, it's here in the fourth largest city in the nation, Houston, Texas.

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Joel Osteen's upbeat message is in high demand

07:13 PM CST on Monday, December 13, 2004

By Jeremy Desel / 11 News

Click to watch video

He's a preaching phenomenon. He's a minister who is no longer walking in his father's footsteps.

Joel Osteen has risen to national stardom and turned Lakewood Church into the largest church in America.

KHOU-TV

Joel Osteen talks about the success of his new book as he travels to a book signing in Arkansas.

His upbeat message is in demand, as evidenced by selling a million of his books in seven weeks.

After preaching to thousands on Sunday, Monday should be a day of rest.

It is anything but that for Joel Osteen. For him, it's time to pack the bags and fly.

Jets, a national tour and a million-selling book are still amazing to this pastor who wasn't even a pastor five years ago.

"I wouldn't have believed it. I would have said 'you're kidding, that's not me'. I didn't even think it was necessarily in me. I couldn't even have dreamed that up and I would have said 'no way'," Osteen says.

The first stop is Little Rock, Arkansas, where his first book autograph is for the receptionist at the television station where he is making an appearance.

The big show is down the road from the station, where hundreds wait for him at Wal-Mart.

Before Victoria and Joel Osteen's day began, Beverly Johnson was on the road. She got up at 5 a.m. and was the first person in line to have his book signed.

Johnson's cart was full of books and one beverage bottle. "It's his charisma. It's his wisdom that he's giving us for everyday living," she says.

The line wound through the store and took two minutes to walk from the front to the end of the line.

"It's the way he breaks it down to us. It's so simple, but it's attainable goals. It's things that we can do every day," says Tennessean Denise Bradley.

For the signing, 1,000 copies of the book were brought to the Wal-Mart. Events such as this have made Osteen's book a number one best seller on the New York Times list this week.

Those numbers don't take into account Osteen's base -- faith-based book stores.

"It's been a very pleasant surprise that the message has crossed over into the whole community, because we never wanted to reach just the Christian community. We've reached them, and we keep talking to them and it just feels like that we ought to get beyond the church borders," says Osteen.

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"The road to heaven is paved with money".

THAT is what I am talking about!  Church for trendoids.

how do you assume it's about money for everbody? look, when you are living the right way and being obedient to God, he blesses you in every area of your life.in the area of finances, marriage,etc...only a fool would deny blessings from God.so you think that the more poverty you're in makes you a better Christian?Christ wasn't poor and God definitely isn't. so, idon't understand your position on mega churches. are you supposed to turn people away when they want to become a member of your church, so that it looks better to people like you who feel that a church shouldn't prosper doing the Lord's will? your position on this is pointless and outdated. i guess it's ok for us to build multi million dollar state of the art stadiums where we cheer,clap, and glorify players who are just as human as we are. why can't we do that for God without question?

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how do you assume it's about money for everbody? look, when you are living the right way and being obedient to God, he blesses you in every area of your life.in the area of finances, marriage,etc...only a fool would deny blessings from God.so you think that the more poverty you're in makes you a better Christian?Christ wasn't poor and God definitely isn't. so, idon't understand your position on mega churches. are you supposed to turn people away when they want to become a member of your church, so that it looks better to people like you who feel that a church shouldn't prosper doing the Lord's will? your position on this is pointless and outdated. i guess it's ok for us to build multi million dollar state of the art stadiums where we cheer,clap,  and glorify players who are just as human as we are. why can't we do that for God without question?

I agree. I don't know where people got the image of Jesus as a poor man. The Bible said that His robe was without seam, and when He was on the cross, they gambled for His clothes. I don't think anyone would gamble for rags. Plus, Jesus wasn't born in a barn because His parents were poor, it was because there was no more room anywhere else. Also, if He had no money, why would the people bother asking Him the question about paying taxes?

God is about the best, and yes, that includes money among other things.

For Christians, it's not up to us to decide "well, I don't trust this man with my money, so I won't give any to this thief". God says to bring the tithes into the storehouse. If preachers take and do stuff with the money contrary to what God says, then He will deal with them. It's up to us to do our part--once we give, we wash our hands of it because we have fulfilled our responsibility.

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no, they only offered that at rice.

anyways, i find mega-churches with ice rinks and basketball courts...odd.

why?churches do offer activities for kids and grownups, you know. i think it's great that churches offer activities for the benefit of the mebers and community. what's with you people?there's Bible study, singles bible study, married couples workshops and plenty of other organizations you can choose.we have a basketball court at our church and people ,whether they are members or not, come and play.this is one way to keep kids off the street or spending most of their time playing video games.you still find that odd?
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why?churches do offer activities for kids and grownups, you know. i think it's great that churches offer activities for the benefit of the mebers and community. what's with you people?there's Bible study, singles bible study, married couples workshops and plenty of other organizations you can choose.we have a basketball court at our church and people ,whether they are members or not, come and play.this is one way to keep kids off the street or spending most of their time playing video games.you still find that odd?

there's nothing wrong with it. i actually use the fitness center at second baptist church but i'm just not used to big churches that's all. if i was a church going person, i would find them impersonal due to the immense size.

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Call me burnt, but I grew up in the Southbelt Area that was dominated by Sagement Baptist Church. I have seen the bad side first hand of these mega churches, so call me paranoid.

I like smaller churces like Trinity Episcopalian. And they find ways to have fun, too. Just on a much smaller scale.

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I don't think that size has anything to do with "impersonal". Can it be intimidating? Yes. But it is all about the people inside the building. I've gone to churches that were waaay smaller than Lakewood (say 1200 people instead of the 25000+ at Lakewood) and only knew about 3 or 4 people. For the most part, the people at Lakewood are very friendly and speak to you like they're really interested. I probably have 25-30 people that I know there pretty good.

The other thing about those bigger churches is that they usually have smaller group-type events. Lakewood has home groups which, from what I have witnessed, have provided some very strong relationships amongst the people. There's also other stuff like Portico, the young singles service they have on Thursdays (where I met my wife, btw) where the attendace can still hit 500-600 sometimes, but it is very easy to meet and talk to people there. If you ever go, there's a guy named Momo who usually greets everyone--and knows everyone's name.

So you see, it's more about the type of people than the size of the church.

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