God gives authority to men for the sole purpose of setting the captives free. He does not give men authority over men, but rather over the darkness that is keeping men in bondage. When we recognize spiritual power and authority within an individual to help set us free, then we acknowledge them as an authority in our lives. This can happen regardless of position, license, title, or age. Anyone with spiritual maturity and understanding is a candidate to be used by God to set others free. Anyone who has to appeal to their position or title in order to maintain their authority or ability to control something has already missed the whole point as to why God would give them authority in the first place.
For one growing up in church, they could get the idea that sanctification is a process. That one becomes holier the closer he adheres to God's law and commandments now that they have received the free gift of salvation. However, righteousness is completely free! It is available to us through the finished work of Christ. It is all His doing. All His work! None of our own, lest we should boast. This is good news!