"to persuade, to win over," in the Passive and Middle Voices, "to be persuaded, to listen to, to obey," is so used with this meaning, in the Middle Voice, e.g., in Acts 5:36-37 (in Acts 5:40, Passive Voice, "they agreed"); Rom. 2:8; Gal. 5:7; Heb. 13:17; Jas. 3:3. The "obedience" suggested is not by submission to authority, but resulting from persuasion.
"to lead," is translated "to rule" in Heb. 13:7,17,24 (AV marg., in the first two, "are the guides" and "guide."
"to retire, withdraw" (hupo, under, eiko, "to yield"), hence, "to yield, submit," is used metaphorically in Heb. 13:17, of "submitting" to spiritual guides in the churches.
Original NKJV: Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls . . .
Vines: Listen to or be persuaded by those who guide you and yield to them, for they watch out for your souls. . .
Think about the ramifications of this distortion of truth. I don't consider myself to be one who typically let's someone walk over me, but I was amazed at how this verse (understood with the wrong translation) affected me for several years. Did these "shepherds" bring God's truth to me or something distorted? What was the effect of the distorted truth on me? I trusted godly men to present the truth to me. This is serious stuff, people! God's truth must not be distorted for personal gain.
I will leave you with more resources regarding this verse at the bottom of this post. There are a multitude of sites devoted to this one verse. I hope this helps you to see that pastors/elders are not to lord over those they shepherd. For them to take that stance is wrong and distorts God's intended purpose for an elder/shepherd.
The following description of an elder sounds like a breath of fresh air to me and note how the tone is more in line with the "Vines" verse above. I hope everyone can be blessed in a church where elders are like this:
1 Peter 5:1-4: And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. 4 And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
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Obey and Submit (Hebrews 13:17)
Solving The Hebrews 13:17 Dilemma
“Obey” and “Submit” to your Leaders? The Hebrews 13:17 Deception
Elders: Rulers or Servants Part 1
Elders: Rulers or Servants Part 2
Elders: Rulers or Servants Part 3
Elders: Rulers or Servants Part 4