A school is a perfect picture of the role of the local church pastor. His goal, his fulfillment, his joy should be in the training and release of the people God gave him. Some will then leave, some will stay to work through the church. But they will all be equipped and released into their purpose. For some, their purpose will be to work in the church in the preparation and release of those whose destiny will take them far away. In any case, the people will know their role and feel a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in that they are doing what God has them to do.
This not to say that local pastors cannot have an international ministry, but when the local church is merely a financial crutch and personal work force that sustains the personal ministry of the pastor, these saints are being misused and robbed of their own purpose on God.
It is too easy to dismiss those who are frustrated as rebellious and stubborn. If the truth be told, it is often the pastor who is more concerned with holding onto those who should be ‘graduating’ and God is sending away that causes much of the problem.
How absurd would it be for the principal of a university to refuse diplomas to those who had completed the course? How long would he have his job? How many new people would come to a university that never graduated its students? The church Jesus is building is a way-station, a school, where God sends His people to be prepared to go change the world. But we have made it into a Black Hole, where no one gets out, except in pieces. But that is another blog.
The pastor needs to decide whether or not he is really a pastor. Of course, a local congregation is good financial security for the pastor who really has another burden, another vision, another calling. It is easier to exact a salary and travel expenses for a local church than to do it the old fashioned way---earn it.
The pastor needs to do what is on his heart to do. Is he a pastor? Then his time, energy and anointing need to be centered upon the people he is called to prepare. Maybe the pastor’s calling is to win the world for the Lord, maybe it to minister to unwed mothers, Christian education or political activities. Maybe he is a prophet or a church planter. Any of these callings and passions are awesome indeed, but when they are confused with the real mission of the New Testament pastor, the people are the ones abused and sidetracked from their basic need: to be equipped into their calling and launched into their ministry.
The vision of the New Testament pastor should be to build the people to do the work of the ministry God has called them to do. Where there are true pastors, there is a flow of people through the church, coming in to be prepared and going out to change the world.