Sheep cannot survive without shepherding. They just don't have what it takes. We all need oversight and spiritual care. This is not to say that we are dependent on one particular individual called 'the Pastor' for our spiritual survival. Shepherding is a function of Jesus which He may accomplish in our lives through many different people.
Unfortunately, the statement 'you cannot be saved without a pastor' is sometimes used to manipulate and control people by instilling fear. I hope that has not been your experience.