Missions: The Barnabas Model
Allow me a few unconventional thoughts on what we refer to as "missions." If it is detrimental to the church's growth to have a founding pastor who never leaves or stays for 20, 30, or more years at the same church, it is, in my view, even more detrimental when the typical missionary to a foreign land pioneers a work, and it may be a very good work, mind you, and also stays for 20, 30, or more years, or until his dying day. This is not the biblical pattern set forth and lived out by Paul and others of like ministry in the early days of the Church.
A prime example, even before Paul received his apostolic call, was when Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to Antioch. True, later on Barnabas would essentially function in more of a supporting role as part of this ministerial tandem. But, at the beginning, it was Barnabas who assumed the lead, pioneering a prototype model for church planting upon which Paul and others would follow and expand upon. But, make no mistake, this was anything but a clever idea birthed from the mind of Barnabas. It was, in fact, a Holy Spirit revelation from the Mind of God which provided the spiritual principles upon which the tangible birthing and building of a local church was predicated upon.