The King James Versions says that Diotrephes loveth to have the preeminence. He loved his title, his position of authority, and having everything in the church flow through him.
He wanted not only to approve who spoke in the church, but even with whom church people could socialize outside of church. He wielded his positional authority like a sword and cut off people from the fellowship of the church if they didn’t join lockstep with him.
He used fear and intimidation to demand people follow him, and wouldn’t receive a loving letter from the Apostle John. To counteract any who would question him, Diotrephes engaged in gossip and character assassination of any he perceived to be a threat to his position as pastor.
This type of attitude has no place in the Body of Christ, especially among the pastorate! Jesus came to serve, and taught us to do likewise. Jesus didn’t snuff out the smoldering wick or stomp on the bruised reed, but ministered lovingly to all. Peter told shepherds to never use their position to lord it over others.
My fellow pastor, having the title of pastor doesn’t mean I’m the smartest person in the room, or that I have all the answers. I am one member of the Body of Christ. Each member of the Body needs all the other members of the Body. I should humbly serve, never demanding allegiance to me or blind obedience to my wishes. I should never try to hide behind my title, but be the most transparent, the most willing to admit my mistakes, and the first to forgive and to ask forgiveness.