1 Thessalonians 5:13
And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. [And] be at peace among yourselves.
Note 4 at 1 Th. 5:13: The English word "esteem" means "to place a high value on; respect, prize" (NAHD) The NIV translates this verse as "Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work."
A parallel passage of scripture written by the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 5:17 says, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in the word and doctrine." This is speaking of the leaders who minister the Word. They are supposed to be given twice the remuneration of non-preaching/teaching elders.
Note 5 at 1 Th. 5:13: Hebrews 13:17 says, "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." This is the same point that Paul is making in these scriptures. Showing our love and respect towards our leaders is the right thing to do and it will make their ministry more effective too.
Failure to properly show respect towards Christian leaders is one reason they don't function better. A bitter leader is not a good leader.
Note 6 at 1 Th. 5:13: Notice that Paul said the reason we are to esteem our Christian leaders very highly is "for their work's sake." It has been incorrectly taught that we are supposed to honor the position, not the person. While there may be some truth in that, we only HIGHLY honor those who are doing a good job. Any other interpretation only gives power to tyrants.
Note 7 at 1 Th. 5:13: Paul is advocating peace among the believers. One of the necessary elements to peace in the body of Christ is the respect towards leadership he had just encouraged. Those who refuse to respect godly leaders are selfish and rebellious and very detrimental to peace in the body.