I, too have had a couple of "bad" experiences in my 25 plus years in the ministry. The majority of my time in ministry I've been in either the second or perhaps the second to last chair on staff. I feel compelled to address a couple of concerns that have been raised here. There have been times when I felt I got a raw deal, too. But in every situation God was in control. He didn't go out for a cup of coffee only to come back and wring his hands saying "What have they done now?" Father is in and has always been in control!
We are called to be servant-leaders, as such shouldn't we expect to be treated as servants?
Yes churches have by-laws and there are laws in our country that are designed to protect us, but is that what we are supposed to do?? Rely on laws or rely on God?
Remember Joseph? If anyone had a raw deal it was him. From favored son to slavery, to jail, to "second chair" in Egypt. yet in Genesis 50: 20 Joseph says that what men did for evil God ultimately used for not only the good of Joseph, but also his family and entire nations.
Corinthians 61-8 also is pretty specific about not taking a brother (and I believe that could be expanded to include an entire church) to court. I would recommend that in church by-laws, constitutions, etc. add a clause to go to binding arbitration with respected Christians leaders either in your denomination or in your local community.
James 1:2-4 also tells us that the situation we go through (called trials in the Bible) are designed to mature us. Do you and I enjoy these times? No! But in James 1:12, James indicates that we are to stay under the problem. Pray for grace to endure the situation and persevere. Why, God wants us to Grow Up!
I haven't always appreciated what God has allowed me to go through but Father was trying to to conform me to the image of Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 also tells us that the situation that we go through are designed to prepare us for our next ministry. perhaps my worst situation in the ministry prepared me for some of my deepest ministry. I hated what I went through and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, but now I wouldn't trade my tribulation for anything because it deepened my relationship with my God and it has given me a deeper ability to minister to others who have been through similar situations.
My belief is that this is true in this situation.
Praying for all of us in the midst of our "situations"