Many large churches try to do something similar. A handful of ministry staff, pastors and elders can't provide spiritual care and direction for everyone in very large congregations. So Dean-like positions are created where wise, virtuous and skilled teachers within the congregation are asked to minister to and lead smaller groups within the church (bible studies, accountability groups, small groups meeting in homes, etc.)
The potential trouble with many of these teaching and accountability structures is that they can become heavy-handed and abusive. Some people don't do well when given power over others, even a tiny bit of power. And maybe it's not even power over but simply having the role of coordinator. Just because you are hosting and running a meeting to facilitate coordination doesn't mean you're the boss of everyone. And yet some people start acting that way.
Benedict, shrewdly judging human nature here, recognizes this temptation and quickly goes on to say:
5If perhaps one of these deans is found to be puffed up with any pride, and so deserving of censure, he is to be reproved once, twice, and even a third time. Should he refuse to amend, he must be removed from office 6and replaced by another who is worthy.The other thing to note here, and this is a distinctive aspect as we'll come to see about Benedict, is how he tries to bring grace into the correction and discipline. The prideful dean is given three chances to amend his ways.