Flower Mound church pastor steps down after inappropriate communication with a woman online

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FLOWER MOUND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The lead pastor of a prominent Southern Baptist church in Flower Mound said he’s stepping aside following inappropriate communication with a woman online. 

Matt Chandler announced his leave of absence during Sunday’s service at The Village Church.  

He told the congregation several months ago that a woman approached him at church. She had concerns about how he was corresponding on Instagram with a friend of hers.

“I didn’t think I had done anything wrong in that,” he said. “My wife knew that. Her husband knew that.”

Chandler said immediately told other senior members who had concerns.

“Those concerns were not that our messaging was romantic or sexual, it was that our conversations were unguarded and unwise,” he said. “The concerns were really about frequency and familiarity.” 

In a statement, the church said it hired an independent law firm and found Chandler, that he “did not use language appropriate for a pastor, and he did not model a behavior that we expect from 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 leave of absence to work on himself was seen as the best course of action. 

“If I’m honest I’m just really embarrassed,” Chandler said. “I feel stupid. I feel dumb.”

This news now coming as a shock to many.

“As an individual, I’m still behind him,” Rob Lindley said. 

He’s attended the church for almost 20 years and said overall, he thinks Chandler did the right thing.  

“The ownership,” he said. “Taking ownership of it and then allowing thirdly other people to lead and guide.”

Chandler is also the president and chairman of the board of Acts 29, a church planting organization. That organization has also announced he’ll be taking a leave of absence from his duties there.

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