Give Jodie a medal for his insights below. If local churches could apprenticeship people and keep them involved whilst at 4 years of full time college, that would be very effective IMHO.
The danger might be that the person would never properly extract themselves from their plant to devote themselves to study. That is what often happens with part-time theological students.
In my view it might be better for us to change the culture that encourages (or demands) people leave their home church during their theological education.
If many of our current church leaders did their catechist position at their home church, then perhaps we might have given our Sydney Driscolls the opportunity to have long-term ministry during their most entrepreneurial and adventuresome years?
It won’t work for all people. The big churches usually generate more people than they can possibly keep.
But, if we allowed those who planted their own church during their ministry apprenticeship to remain as the main leader, whilst still attached by an umbilical cord to their mother church, then perhaps we might not have missed out on many opportunities to take a young church into maturity.