B21 is excited to have Matt Chandler joining this year’s B21 SBC Lunch Panel (REGISTER HERE). After several years serving on a local church staff and as an itinerant preacher, Matt Chandler became the lead Pastor of First Baptist Church of Highland Village, TX now known as The Village Church in 2002. Since that time, Matt has led the congregation through uncompromised Gospel-centered preaching, and visionary leadership. The church has grown from 160 to over 6,000 people, and they now have three campuses. Matt is committed to planting churches, and is involved in planting around Dallas and across the world through The Village Church and other partnerships. He has become a leader in the evangelical world through his ministry at The Village Church, his leadership in the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, and through his preaching at multiple conferences.
Matt will bring a much-needed voice to the b21 panel at this year’s SBC. His church does cooperate with the Southern Baptist Convention and he has expressed hopefulness about the future and the GCR, even saying that he would follow Danny Akin, “into the furnace” (check out his 20/20 talk at SEBTS). We are looking forward to the insights he will bring to the table about why he is a Southern Baptist and what he thinks the future of Southern Baptists ought to look like.
On Thanksgiving Day 2009, Matt suddenly had a seizure and collapsed. The prognosis was that he had a malignant tumor in his brain. The doctors were unable to remove the tumor in its entirety, so over the past months he has undergone continuous treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. He has put regular videos with updates online (see latest one above). Through all of this incredibly difficult season, Matt and his wife Lauren have displayed incredible faith in God’s sovereignty and strength in Christ. A quote from a letter that went out to the members of The Village Church expresses their position through this trial: “The gospel is our hope and the Lord is our strength. Matt and Lauren continue to find solace and hope in Christ. They weep facing this trial, but not as those without hope and perspective. The gospel clarifies their suffering and promises more of Christ through it all.” The way that Matt and Lauren have handled this situation has been both a challenge and an encouragement to Christians, and to the lost a picture of hope and joy in Christ, which is beyond anything they know. We are thankful for Matt’s passionate Gospel-centered preaching and the testimony of the truth of the Gospel lived out in his life. We are grateful that Matt has graciously agreed to join the Baptist 21 panel this summer in Orlando, and look forward to learning from him and the rest of the panel at this pivotal time in the life of the SBC.