The Village Church offers few details about process it says was successful.
Matt Chandler returned to the pulpit of The Village Church on Sunday, restored to ministry by the Texas church’s elders a little more than three months after he took a leave of absence to deal with what one elder called “some challenges that arose.”
A few minutes later, 48-year-old Chandler started preaching about sin.
“It is my understanding that I have fallen short of the glory of God and he has met me with grace,” he said. “It is my understanding that I am inconsistent and I do have spots that are hypocritical, and there are parts of me I don’t even understand.”
Quoting Ephesians 2:13–17, Chandler urged the congregation to see that the true promise of Christmas is reconciliation with God. But that can only start, he said, if people acknowledge their sin, as he himself had done on that same stage in late August.
“To humble ourselves before a living God gives us a shot at peace,” he preached. “I’ve got a part of this I’ve got to own. It might just be 1 percent, but that’s my 1 percent. Forgive me. Now we’ve got a shot at reconciliation.”
While he acknowledged his sinfulness again on Sunday, Chandler didn’t offer any more details about the situation that led to his leave of absence. In late August, he confessed to an inappropriate online relationship with a woman he was direct messaging on Instagram. Chandler said at the time that the ongoing exchange was neither sexual nor secret—his wife knew about it—but the church’s elders were nonetheless concerned “about frequency and familiarity,” and specifically “a familiarity that played itself out in coarse and foolish joking.”
A statement …