Gaius and Diotrephes offer contrasting images of Christian leadership and its effects on the life and work of the church.
Gaius is commended as one who assists his fellow Christian leaders, even when they are strangers, thus building up the community of Christ and helping speed the gospel mission. Diotrephes is condemned as a negative example. He does not show humility, but arrogance, and he will not join with or follow the teachings of John the Elder. Instead, Diotrephes spreads malicious gossip about him. This leads to destruction in the local church.