Megachurch Pastor Tearfully Announces Leave Of Absence After Messaging Woman On Social Media

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Matt Chandler, a pastor at a megachurch near Dallas, Texas, and prominent speaker and writer in evangelical circles, will be taking a leave of absence over online messages he shared with a woman, he announced Sunday.

Chandler tearfully told the congregation at the Village Church that he was leaving indefinitely after concerns had been raised about direct messages on social media between him and a woman who wasn’t his wife, according to a church announcement. The messages were not romantic or sexual, but church leadership found that their frequency and familiarity, along with the language Chandler used, were inappropriate.

His actions do not merit permanent disqualification, according to the church, and church leaders will determine the timeline for his return. (RELATED: Warnock Used Campaign Funds To Defend Against Personal Lawsuit)

The church’s investigation began when an individual privately confronted Chandler after becoming aware of the messages, and Chandler brought those concerns to his wife and several church leaders, according to the Village Church. Leaders determined that, although Chandler’s life was generally “above reproach,” citing a Biblical standard for church leadership, his behavior had not met that standard in this instance and he was not modeling the behavior that was expected of him.


“While the elders believe that this did not rise to the level of disqualification, we do hold elders to a higher standard of behavior,” the announcement said. “The elders concluded, and Matt agreed, that Matt’s behavior was a sign of unhealth in his life, and that the best course of action would be for him to take a leave of absence from teaching and preaching at The Village Church. Matt’s leave of absence is both disciplinary and developmental, which allows him to focus on growing greater awareness in this area.”

The Village Church did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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