Listen to your leaders and submit to their authority over the community, for they are on constant watch to protect your souls and someday they must give account. [Hebrews 13:17 VOICE]
When I first came to Christ in the 1970s there was a phenomena in religious circles called 'the shepherding movement'. It was a heavy handed thing. People were encouraged to ask their shepherd for advice in all matters carnal and spiritual. It lasted for a few years then died out.
I have often said that the issue in religious circles is not really authority. In truth the church is not the military. One may choose to leave one church and attend another. No one has the power to keep a person under their authority against their will. People even escape from cults.
The heart of the issue is about influence. And there is no greater way to influence anyone than to accept them and love them unconditionally. This to me is the heart of spiritual authority. Love people as God loves us and you will have more influence in their life than you can imagine.
Teach us Lord to surround ourselves with people who love us without conditions.
... this devotion is part of a series from the book of Hebrews.