For those organic churches who prefer to focus on teaching and doctrine, the risk of spreading the disease of Diotrephesia is very high. What is Diotrephesia? It is a highly contagious virus which causes people to put themselves first.
John was the first to identify the symptoms of this disease when he called out the man for whom the disease is named:
“I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not acknowledge us. Therefore, if I come I will call attention to the deeds he is doing – the bringing of unjustified charges against us with evil words! And not being content with that, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers himself, but hinders the people who want to do so and throws them out of the church!” (3 John 1: 9-11)
The symptoms of Diotrephesia are:
*Always seeking to be first
*Strong desire to do all the talking
*Tendency to "Lord it over" others
*Fixation with literature, conferences, and titles that imply leadership is about being in control rather than being a slave.
*Tendency to assume the entire church fellowship is under his authority and control.
*Continually finds ways to exploit the talents of others for his own gain.
*Keeps others dependent upon himself for spiritual health