The pastor of the church is likened to the shepherd in this illustration. The sheepfold is the local church and the sheep are the believers in the flock. It is the shepherd who guards the sheepfold and stands by the gate to make sure that the sheep are all accounted for and safely inside the fold at night where wolves cannot harm them. Likewise, it is the shepherd who greets and calls the sheep by name as they go in and out at the gate of the sheepfold. This important illustration teaches us that the pastor that God has set over the flock must know who comes and goes because they must give an account to God for those entrusted into their care by the Great Shepherd, Jesus. Therefore it is the pastor that welcomes people officially into the membership of the local church properly with blessing and acceptance. This is an understood and accepted practice in all Christian churches. If a person is led by God to leave the church they have joined, the pastor should be the first to know and give the official blessing of the church to that individual so that they may enter another sheepfold with blessing upon their lives.
Many believers leave the churches they join improperly due to an offense that has been committed or a misunderstanding that has not been discussed. This usually occurs without explanation or in secrecy and is a violation of integrity.