"Have you been to church in America recently?" one aide said. "They put on a funeral. If you put on a funeral every week, eventually people stop coming."
"I don't think it is the only form of religion that is going to survive into the future; I think there is also a very strong place for small intimate worship settings, like house churches and small cell churches. But the megachurch is appealing and attracting people for a reason; it parallels the experience that we have with rock concerts and sports arenas and the mall."- Scott Thumma, a sociology of religion professor
Houston, Texas (CNN) -- Joel Osteen strides into the former Compaq Center. Some 20,000 people are standing and singing. Purple lights softly pulse across the ceiling, and mist floats around two giant screens flashing words to the songs.
It's not a pulpit but a podium. It's not an altar but a stage. There is no cross. Instead a huge globe spins, and two massive bubbling creeks flank the stage. A lighting system softens distant corners of the massive arena and spreads colored light and smoke in strategic spots. Somehow, the space that will hold 40,000-plus on Sunday morning doesn't feel like a sports arena. click here to Read full story
Watch Joel Osteen's profound explanation of Jeremiah 29:11 here