Matt Chandler to Return to Preaching This Sunday, After 3-Month Leave

By Julie Roys
Matt Chandler
Matt Chandler (Source: Video screengrab)

Following a three-month leave due to an “inappropriate online relationship,” embattled megachurch pastor Matt Chandler will return to preaching this Sunday at The Village Church (TVC) in Flower Mound, Texas, his elders announced Thursday.

In an email to congregants, the elders of TVC said Chandler had “diligently” worked through a “development plan,” which included “study and prayer, personal reflection, and multiple intensives with trusted outside experts.”

“Matt has completed everything asked of him with submissiveness, steadfastness, and humility, and we have received positive feedback from all involved,” the elders wrote. “We have been encouraged by his posture throughout, and we remain so. Therefore, we are pleased to share with you that his return to preaching is scheduled for this Sunday, December 4.”

In August, a tearful Chandler confessed to his congregation of about 8,000 that he had engaged in an inappropriate online relationship with a woman other than his wife. The relationship reportedly was not romantic or sexual, but was “unguarded and unwise,” Chandler said.

He added, “The volume of exchanges and the familiarity, which played itself out in kind of coarse and foolish joking, is just not okay for someone who has been put in the position that God has placed me in.”

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TVC elders indicated at the time that Chandler would take a leave of absence. The church planting network, Acts 29, where Chandler had served as president, similarly announced in August that Chandler would take a break from his duties there.

Brian Howard, who had been executive director of Acts 29, is now listed on the Acts 29 website as president of the organization, and Chandler is listed as executive chairman.

The Roys Report reached out to Acts 29 for comment about Chandler’s role but did not immediately hear back.

Chandler’s return this Sunday coincides with the 20th anniversary of Chandler assuming the pastorate at TVC. As a result, the church will be celebrating Chandler’s 20th anniversary on Sunday, as well. According to TVC elders, the twin events were not planned.

“Although we did not work toward this date as a target for Matt’s return, we did not think it was appropriate to delay Matt’s return to avoid it falling on the anniversary,” they wrote. “We decided to stay true to the plan for Matt to return when the goals were met, and we embrace the beautiful coincidence of the timing.” 

Chandler’s return to ministry comes as no surprise. In October, Chandler signaled on Instagram that he would return to active ministry at TVC soon.

Shortly afterward, his elders sent an email, expressing their approval of Chandler’s progress and stating they anticipated Chandler’s return would be imminent. At the time, the elders said their main hesitation was assessing the readiness of the church and its staff to Chandler resuming his position.

The earlier announcements of Chandler’s return were received enthusiastically by some. However, others have expressed concern about the questions surrounding Chandler’s misconduct and the brevity of his leave.

The Village Church – E-mail Announcement – Dec. 1, 2022

Village-Church-Chandler-Announcement
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8 thoughts on “Matt Chandler to Return to Preaching This Sunday, After 3-Month Leave”

  1. Ahhhhh yes,,,,the wayward snake oil salesman returns to the seat of his power,,,the pulpit,,,,standing ovation from the assembled sheep to follow. So predictable.

  2. Dear Matt, I know you have “worked through a “development plan,” which included “study and prayer, personal reflection, and multiple intensives with trusted outside experts.” I am so sorry to miss your celebrated return to the pulpit after such a lengthy absence. I am sure the world will now be a much better place and that TVC will be immensely blessed. It is truly, all about you!

    PS- perhaps a longer, permanent absence would be in order?

    1. I know Christian people that have had “inappropriate relationships”, and to God’s glory some have been restored even after horrific situations. For everyone that I know that had to fix their marriage it was difficult and required quite a bit of time. I guess professional Christian’s are able to be restored much faster than an average Christian, 3 months is pretty good. They are probably able to be restored faster due to their spiritual maturity.

  3. It would seem that after an “inappropriate online relationship” involving “coarse and foolish joking”, Matt Chandler fails to meet the biblical requirement of an elder being above reproach. He needs to be stripped of his eldership title and role. Also, Matt Chandler and the elders need to make public his text messages, etc, so that the congregation can judge for themselves if he is qualified to lead as an elder.

    I wouldn’t trust the discretion and opinion of the “leadership team” on this matter. In modern mega celebrity pastor churches, there is typically too much money, power, influence, and backroom politics going on to have clarity on these things.

  4. It is a TVC issue, and every member will need to decide if he is really able to return to leadership….with the information I have and having watched many of his sermons, I believe he should lead no one

  5. I wonder how loud and long was the standing ovation that this charlatan, no doubt, received from the assembled sheep as he took the stage.

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