On Nov. 3, elders of The Village Church (TVC) in Flower Mound, Texas, provided an email update on lead pastor Matt Chandler’s current leave of absence from the pulpit.
Chandler announced on Aug. 28 that he would take a leave of absence from preaching and teaching after he was confronted about an inappropriate, non-sexual, non-romantic direct messaging relationship with a woman who is not his wife.
Chandler, who is author of “The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption,” described the messaging relationship as being characterized by “familiarity” and “coarse and foolish joking,” further calling it “unguarded and unwise.”
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TVC elder Josh Patterson shared that Chandler’s leave of absence was implemented for both disciplinary and developmental purposes.
“We previously shared that the duration of Matt’s absence from preaching would be flexible to give space for both discipline and development to occur. The elders gave Matt a plan with both of those goals in view,” the TVC elders said in their update. “Matt has diligently followed this, and the feedback received from all of the various parties involved has been on a consistent and positive trajectory. We have been pleased with Matt’s posture throughout the process.”
Chandler has completed everything the TVC elders have asked of him and done so with a humble and earnest spirit, TVC elders conveyed.
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“In light of this, we are presently formulating a process for his return to the pulpit, which includes the assessment of his readiness as well as the readiness of the church and staff,” the statement said. “We anticipate his return to be soon, but we are not ready to announce a date just yet given the reasons mentioned above.”
Chandler posted a message via Instagram on Oct. 24 conveying his desire to return to the pulpit.