9. The bullies need you to act courageously and faithfully. Whether they know it or not.
It will be good for the Diotrephes in your congregation (those who “love to have the pre-eminence”) to see someone acting like God truly is in this place, that the Lord really did send him here, and that he actually expects to have to stand before the Lord some day and give account for this flock (see Hebrews 13:17).
It will be eye-opening for the bullies to see you able to take a licking, then get up and love them again in the power of the Holy Spirit.
You are going to win them by the power of humility, love and service, and not by playing the game the way they want it conducted (by sheer force, big numbers and power).
10. Your family needs to see you acting maturely, speaking firmly, and confidently dealing with this matter in quietness and strength.
Over the years, I have encountered adult children of ministers who quit going to church years ago “after seeing how the church people treated my daddy.” They grew bittertowards the church and marked them all off as unChristian and hypocritical. To the extent their preacher-fathers allowed them to be hurt, they did them no favors.
Protect your children, parents.
As much as you can, pastor dad, shield your wife from the trouble. She’ll need to be in on some of it, but not all.
But shield your children from as much of it as you possibly can. They are so vulnerable. They do not have the spiritual resources with which to deal with hateful members or cruel leaders. So, try to shield them.
The ministry can be the most rewarding life in the world. But it can also be the cruelest. In either case, it is the Lord Christ whom you serve. And let me assure you, He does not take lightly the wonderful service you render in His name nor the treatment you receive from those who would hinder you. (Hebrews 6:10 has your name all over it.)
Find out, and then help your family to see what Scripture means in calling the Lord “our Shield and Defender.” It’s all good.
Now, get up off the ground and get back into the ring, preacher. The worst thing they can do is kill you and all that does is send you to Heaven.