Popular televangelist Joel Osteen, whose smile is known to millions worldwide, hits stores Monday with his second anticipated book – Become a Better You.
Following the huge success of his first published work, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at your Full Potential, the bestselling author has on shelves 3 million copies of his latest work – the highest first printing for a hardcover book in history of publishing house Simon & Schuster. Osteen is currently on a national media tour.
"I don't go in and give you a hundred scriptures in each chapter," said Osteen, answering critics about his book being another self-help book.
"[B]ut it's the principles of God's words," he added, according to Houston's ABC 13.
Like Osteen's first book, Become a Better You is mainly taken from the megachurch pastor's weekly sermons which are positive messages without the traditional teachings of suffering or what critics call the prosperity gospel. Osteen believes his newest work is better than his first, which sold about 5 million copies.
Osteen pastors America's largest church, Lakewood Church in Houston, with some 47,000 worshippers every weekend. He told "60 Minutes" correspondent Byron Pitts on Sunday that he talks to congregants and audiences worldwide "on the people's level," not necessarily dumbing down messages but telling people simply how to improve their lives.
"I can get up here and try to impress you with Greek words and doctrine and there are people that need that, they want to study deeper," he recently said on the CBS program. "But I know what I'm called to do is say 'I want to help you learn how to forgive today.' 'I want to help you to have the right thoughts today.' Just simple things."
Those messages have received an overwhelming response with 10 million television viewers tuning in to Lakewood's Sunday services and his books now available in 25 languages. His latest book is already available in Spanish, Korean, Indonesian and other languages.
And Osteen says it rewarding to see people's lives changed.
"You know, you get people that want to criticize, 'You're not doing enough of this, enough of that.' Well, we're not perfect," he said on "60 Minutes."
"But to have, you know, hundreds of people telling you 'You changed my life. I haven't been in church in 30 years,' or 'You saved my marriage' – Not me, but God; but they're telling me – you just feel very rewarded. You feel very humbled," said Osteen as he was overtaken with emotion and paused to weep.
Become a Better You features "7 keys to improving your life every day." Although his first book presented steps to living "Your Best Life Now," he said, "it is important that you do not become stagnant."
"God always wants to increase us, to do more in and through us. He always wants to take us deeper into self-discovery and then wants to raise us to a higher level of living," he writes in his newest book.
Osteen is scheduled to appear on major media outlets this week including CNN's Larry King Live and his next speaking tour stop is New York City's Madison Square Garden on Oct. 19-20. Lakewood Church was ranked the largest church in the country by Outreach magazine in its 2007 issue.