Ida Mae Astute, Associated Press
In this publicity image released by ABC, bestselling author and pastor of the nation's largest church, Joel Osteen, appears on the morning program, "Good Morning America," Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, in New York.

Our take: Pastor Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has built a mega-ministry through books, preaching and television outreach, reaching into the lives of millions with a goal to get as many people into church as he can. Speaking about Christianity's relation to Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, Osteen shared his belief that, despite some theological differences, Christians and Mormons are "brothers in Christ."

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Americas largest church, swung by the offices of CNN's Belief Blog on Tuesday. Hes in town for a "Night of Hope" event at Nationals Park baseball stadium this weekend, which is expected to draw thousands of worshipers who wouldn't otherwise step foot in a church.

Before taking batting practice with the Washington Nationals and delivering the opening prayer in Congress, Osteen sat down for a freewheeling interview with us. Five things we learned from his visit:

1. Osteen's optimism is unflappable

No matter how negative the outlook may be regarding religion, the economy or politics, Osteen sees the good.

Churches in America may be bleeding members but, Osteens own church and those of his megapastor friends are growing. "Sometimes what works 40 years ago doesnt work today," he said, explaining how he built a church with 40,000 regular attendees in Houston, Texas.

Read more about Joel Osteen's beliefs on the Mormon faith at