Throw Out Insiders Who Are Trying To Help
Not only would Diotrephes avoid positive influences around him, he actually took steps to get rid of them. This would be the equivalent of a CEO, department head or manager firing subordinates who brought different ideas to the table. A good leader ultimately makes a decision. Sometimes it's a difficult one. Sometimes it's an unpopular one. Sometimes it plays out to be the right move, other times the wrong one. But before making that decision, a great leader will hear the various points of view, explore opposing perspectives, and try to look at the issue from all the angles.
Diotrephes wasn't interested in that at all. He was closed minded. And he was so convinced that his way was the only way to do things that he expelled others in the church who had different ideas. They were willing to 'welcome the brothers', so Diotrophes put them out of the church.
Really, if you think about it, this is the height of arrogance. It's bad enough that he wouldn't listen to them, but to have them removed...expelled...kicked out...Wow. It's just hard to articulate how terrible this is.
Certainly, people in an organization need to be able to get behind the leader's decision, whether that organization is a department, company, charity or church. Few people really get how hard leadership is. In other places where I am not the senior leader (I'm a part of several of these - the Powhatan Rotary Club, my kids' schools, the outside groups with which our church associates, etc.) I always support the decisions of that leader. If I cannot do that, it's time for me to get out. I mean it. And I've done that once or twice.
But provided that I can ultimately support the decision, I need to be welcomed to bring my perspective and ideas, for the good of the group. A leader who was unwilling to listen to my perspective would be a leaders I couldn't follow. He or she does not have to agree with me, but she does need to hear me. I can support most leaders like that.
Diotrophes wasn't like that. And he would have thrown me out of his church.
Tomorrow, I will finish this little series with Demetrius, John's alternative to Diotrephes.