MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA9) -- He has more than 5 million likes on Facebook,he's one of the most influential people on Twitter, and he leads the nation's largest church.
Pastor and best selling author Joel Osteen is in Washington, D.C. area encouraging people to "Break Out" beyond the barriers.
He talked to WUSA9's Jan Jeffcoat and a crowd filled with Washingtonians about his new book and making it through some tough times.
The captain of the USS Cole from 2008 to 2010 was among the people in the crowd. Captain Ed Devinney invited Pastor Osteen aboard the Navy Destroyer just before it deployed in 2010. He told us, "He has a great message and I think that he has the ability to connect with a lot of people, and he himself is very inspiring I think it helps everyone in their own personal journey and I think especially going away for deployment where you're away from your friends and family for so long having some connection, some inner strength is very helpful while we're gone."
One woman told us she was at the Barnes and Noble in Tysons Corner because "I have been following him for years. Every Sunday his words are amazing. They give me a lot of courage and it was just a pleasure to meet him."
Another woman said, "The man keeps me sane, and out of trouble." She added, "He preaches positive, influential and you can do anything. Don't let the Devil take you anywhere. Stand up for your rights."
Osteen never expected to be at the pulpit of his father's church. He commented on his ability to connect with other people and the idea of living what he preaches. "I think that it just makes it a lot easier for me to share with other people if I have experienced it in my own life. Like you said, everybody is looking for hope or acceptance and you know, whether you are rich or poor or black or white we all have challenges," said Osteen.