Matt Chandler's Southern Baptist Convention 'interview' shows how not to deal with bad press

GetReligion | 6/11/2019 | Julia Duin
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Earlier this week, tmatt wrote about and spotlighted a New York Times bombshell about what certainly appeared to be the cavalier approach a major Southern Baptist megachurch took to dealing with a sexual predator in its midst.

A summation of the Times piece is further down in my post, but the damage done by this article was so extensive that the Rev. Matt Chandler, the pastor, broke away from his sabbatical to fly to Birmingham in an attempt to salvage his reputation. He showed up at a lunch meeting of Baptist pastors to answer questions from an emcee but — here’s the key — not to take questions from the audience.

Video - Interview - Piece - Headshaker - Example

The video of that “interview” is atop this piece. It’s a headshaker and a perfect example of how way too many religious leaders think journalism is supposed to be public relations. The pastor’s first sentence out of the blocks is, “I’m here because I don’t want what we’re trying to do to lose momentum and steam.”

It’s not “I’m concerned for the victim and her family,” or “I feel we messed up and I want to apologize,” but no, he doesn’t want to derail his church’s expansion plans.

Times - Reporter - Story - Pastor - Appearance

The Times reporter who’d broken the story tweeted that she planned to attend the pastor’s appearance. I still haven’t found out whether she managed to nab him in the hallway beforehand or afterwards.

She did run this piece on his speech:

Mr - Chandler - Meeting - Tuesday

Mr. Chandler interrupted his sabbatical to unexpectedly join the annual meeting on Tuesday.

At a panel, he said he was in “introspective mode” about what he could have done differently.

Point - Care - Braggs - Pastors - Care

He said that he was not “running point on care” for the Braggs and allowed other pastors to handle their care because “they are 25 minutes away” and didn’t attend the campus where he was based....
(Excerpt) Read more at: GetReligion
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