Global church planting network Acts 29 has “asked” president and chairman of the board Matt Chandler to “step aside from Acts 29 speaking engagements” after he was suspended from the church he leads.
According to The Christian Post, the decision from Acts 29 comes after The Village Church placed Chandler on a leave of absence for sending social media direct messages to another woman that “crossed a line.”
The Village Church said in a statement that the messages were non-sexual and non-romantic.
Meanwhile, Acts 29, the network organization that includes the Village Church, announced this week that Chandler would not be making any speaking engagements on behalf of Acts 29.
“Acts 29 prioritizes personal integrity and holds our leaders to a high standard of conduct,” the statement said. “We hope that Matt can use this time away from speaking to focus on the process that TVC elders have laid out for him.”
The Village Church elders said Chandler voluntarily admitted to the inappropriate social media messages on Instagram. He said a friend of the woman he had messaged confronted him about the messages in the church’s foyer several months ago.
Chandler said he didn’t realize he had “done anything wrong,” but he brought the issue to elders and also told his wife.
The Village Church hired an independent law firm to review Chandler’s cell phone records, email history and his social media accounts.
The firm found that Chandler “violated our internal social media use policies, and more importantly that, while the overarching pattern of his life has been ‘above reproach,’ he failed to meet the 1 Timothy standard for elders of being ‘above reproach’ in this instance.”
The Village Church has not released the report to the public and will not say if it is still paying Chandler while he is on his leave of absence.
“The elders have decided, and I think they are right, that my inability to see what I was in probably … [revealed] some unhealth in me, and I don’t know if that’s tied to the pace I run or the difficulty of the last six, seven years, but I agree with them,” Chandler said.
Matt Chandler Takes Leave of Absence Following Inappropriate Online Messages
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.