But What about My Boss?

November 24, 2021

Obey your spiritual leaders and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit. Hebrews 13:17 NLT

One of the typical reactions when we are told to follow the leadership of another person, especially in church leadership, is, “Well, what about him? What about her? Who does he think he is?”

The writer of Hebrews tells us who God says the spiritual leader is:

Someone to be listened to and followed. Their lives and character must be proven and above question—not perfect but godly and growing. Respect for spiritual leadership is key to discipleship and growth (1 Thessalonians 5:12; Hebrews 13:7).

Someone to watch over the souls of the people in their care. This is a very weighty responsibility. Souls are eternal, bought by the blood of Christ, purchased with a very high price. Pastors watch over the souls of people through the Word of God, continual prayer, and counsel.

Someone who is accountable. Spiritual leaders are first accountable to God and then people. When you think their job is easy or enviable, not so. They are held by God and people to a very high standard. The cost of failure is unthinkable. Paul described the responsibility in his last challenge to the spiritual leaders in Acts 20:28: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”

Someone who also has a spiritual leader. Everyone is accountable and responsible to someone. Everyone has to follow; faithful following is necessary to be a leader worth following.

The Hebrew writer says with deep understanding, “Give your spiritual leaders reason to do this weighty, significant work of watching over your soul with joy, not sorrow. Respond in a way that shows your growing likeness to Jesus and encourages them. Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Make it a source of satisfaction.”

The relationship between a spiritual leader and a follower is intended to be that of a very good and trusted shepherd and a much-loved sheep.

  • Do you have a spiritual leader who has really helped you, watching over your soul? Thank him or her this week.
  • If you are a spiritual leader, do you have a member of your flock who has brought you joy through their growth and cooperation? Thank that person this week.