Shane Lems, interacting with Timothy Witmer's book The Shepherd Leader, has enumerated five observations concerning the authority of elders (and I would suggest all church-based leadership). Lems distilled list is further summarized below. See his entire post here.
1. All human authority is derived.
2. The exercise of authority is designed to serve the well-being of those under its care.
3. This authority is to be directed by God’s Word.
4. All who hold derived authority are ultimately accountable to the One who gave that authority.
5. The flock is called to submit to the authority of the elders.