But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” … And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. – Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-14 (ESV)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:1-4 (ESV)
Seldom if ever in its long history has the world witnessed such a self-conscious revolt against authority. – Stott
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. – Hebrews 10:7 (ESV)
We may ask, What sort of profit or good does he have in mind? The answer is plain from the entire book, but let’s take a specific verse to see it. Consider Hebrews 10:39, “We are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” The aim of this book is to help people not shrink back from faith and have their soul destroyed, but rather to persevere in faith to the end and preserve their soul. The book of Hebrews is about perseverance. Over and over, it calls us to be vigilant concerning our souls and to endure to the end in faith and obedience (2:1; 3:6,12; 4:1,11,16; 6:1,11-12,18; 10:14,22-31,35-39; 12:1-2,12-17,28; 13:13)
So the aim of spiritual leadership in the church is mainly the salvation of the soul. And that salvation is not seen in the book of Hebrews as a one-time event of decision, but a life-long battle against temptation and unbelief. The job of the elders of the church primarily is to help you persevere in faith and be saved. In other words, since perseverance is at stake day after day, the aim of leadership is not simply to get decisions for Jesus at the front end of Christian life, but to so teach and so live and so admonish that professing Christians in the church “not shrink back to destruction, but … have faith to the preserving of the soul” (10:39).
– John Piper