"I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.
I will never forget a word of warning that I received from a much older pastor when I was just getting my feet wet in service to a local church. This seasoned veteran of gospel ministry spoke about "The Spirit of Diotrephes" that can be found in so many churches. He spoke from personal and painful experiences from his own life. He clearly shared how a Diotrephes will be found in nearly every church, no matter the size, nor the location. Diotrephes might be one person, man or woman, who believes that he or she is supposed to run the church. It might be a collection of high-minded individuals who actually hold authority over God's church as an elected committee, or an unscriptural deacon body (often called a board of deacons in such situations). Or it could be an unnamed clique in the church, who wrongly believe that they should secretly control the body of Christ.
It makes no difference how the spirit of Diotrephes is manifested, the truth found in 3 John leaves no room for the imagination. Diotrephes, and those who are like him, desire to have the "preeminence" in the church. This should be very troubling, as the Bible says, "And He (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." Friend, there is only room for one to be head of the church, to have the preeminence, and that is Jesus! John said that Diotrephes would not allow his letter to be read to the church, and that he prated against John with malicious words (oh the powerful poison of the untamed tongue). John also said that this man would not allow special guests to speak to the church, and would even show church members the door when they attempted to usurp his perceived authority. It's hard for me to even imagine the enormous ego of this foolish man.
But John did not call Diotrephes foolish, he labeled him as evil, and lost. "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God" is the way that the Holy Spirit had John to close this section concerning this man. As precious as the body of Christ is to the heart of God, no wonder He took exception to the callous control that Diotrephes sought to wield over the church. What should our response be when we encounter someone with the spirit of Diotrephes? Humility, prayer, faith, and the power of the word of God will give us the victory. No need to try and duke it out with such a one like this, for the "weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds!" (2 Corinthians 10:4)
Has agreed to allow Job2ten to pass along some of his words of wisdom. Be sure to go visit his blog to get to see all his content.