How Joyce Meyer Built a Worldwide Following

Joyce Meyer Admits to Stealing, Facelift

Judging by Meyer's past sermons, she means what she says about transparency, to a point that some audience members might find cringe-inducing. In one sermon, Meyer talked about having worked in a company where she was involved in stealing money.

"That was just so important to me, because that was a secret that would have always made me fearful of someday being caught had I not brought that out in the open," Meyer said. "God wanted to use me in ministry, but that was something I needed, that was something I could go back and make right, he wanted me to go back and make that right. I was petrified. ... I was like, 'What if they arrest me,, what if I go to jail, what if, what if?' ... But I really felt like it was what God was prompting me to do, that I needed to go make that right, that I didn't have to have that between me and God."

Meyer decided to go to the owners of the company and confess. She paid back the money she had stolen.

The preacher has also been honest about having had a facelift.

"God doesn't love me anymore or less because I had some work done on my face," she said. "You know, I prayed about it a long, long, long, long, long time, because there again, I wouldn't want to do anything that I felt was going to be offensive to God. ... But I just felt like he finally just came to my heart, you know, it's your face, do what you want to. ... It was a really good thing that I did for me. It made me feel good. ... And you know, when you're in front of millions of people every day, you want to look your best."

Meyer said she didn't think it was a religious matter.

"I want to look my best for God," she said. "So many people have the attitude that if you're a Christian you've got to dress bad, wear an old color, not do anything to your hair, have nothing. It's no wonder that Christianity is not very attractive. I mean, how many people do you know in a Western culture that's going to go, 'Yeah, give me some of that'?"

It Takes Money to Help People

What people do seem to want in on is Meyer's offer to help them prosper by giving to her. She is an effective fundraiser. Her ministry brings in more than $100 million a year.

Is she a prosperity preacher?

"That whole thing is just so totally ridiculous," Meyer said. "First of all, what is a prosperity preacher? It's just this term that people have come up with. Do I believe that God wants to bless us? Yes. The word prosper is in the Bible. ... I just love God, and I'm just trying to help people with the word of God."

People would get back money by giving it, Meyer added, "because the Bible says give and it should be given unto you. You see, giving is a major part of the whole Christian doctrine.

"Most people doing what I'm doing, working at it as long as I have, would be way beyond that, so I am not robbing the ministry," Meyer said. "When I ask people to give, I can't be on television if they don't, I can't help people, if I don't -- I mean, it takes money."

Joyce Meyer: Jesus Might Fly Private Today

We asked Meyer about the private plane she uses to travel on ministry business.

Nightline: Talk for one minute about the plane, because there are a lot of people who go, look, yes she flies a lot, but she could fly commercial. A 22-seat jet?

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