THE PLAYGROUND 
As I've thought about it, it's as though we as churches have taken the leaders of our church and put them in a playground that is just 10 feet long and 10 feet wide and enclosed by a tall fence.
We put these leaders on the playground and tell them to play. That may sound good, but there are a lot of them in one place, and it's pretty crowded. Because the space is so small, there is only room for a swing set, a short slide, and a little merry-go-round. People take turns playing, but they spend most of their time waiting around, wondering when it's going to be their turn. The fence of the playground is so high that you can't see over it. As a result, the leaders don't even know that this playground is situated right in the middle of Walt Disney World. There are a lot of rides and a lot of fun to be had just on the other side of the fence... and they don't even know it.
However, I have a sneaking suspicion that if we took the fence down to let the leaders see what could be, almost all of them would stay in that small playground. Why? They know the playground. It's what they've always known. They like the swing set, the slide, and the merry-go-round. Space Mountain? The Tower of Terror? The Teacups? They've got no idea what to do with those. Walt Disney World is way too foreign and looks more than a little scary compared to the playground they have always known. So chances are, even if you took the fence down, they'd never leave the playground.
THE PLUG-AND-PLAY PROBLEM 
Imagine that it is a Tuesday morning, and that the staff of your church has gathered for its weekly staff meeting. Staff members discuss the weekend service and whether it delivered the message and experience they hoped it would. They discuss attendance numbers; small group numbers and effectiveness; budget, buildings, and cash flow. ... Then, there's a soft but decisive knock on the door. Someone says, "Come in!"
Into the room, dressed in normal clothes, step Peter, Paul, James, Priscilla, Timothy, and Lydia. (Obviously, we're in a hypothetical situation here.) They introduce themselves and say that the Lord sent them to your church to serve in any way they can. They ask, "What can we do? We don't want to be on the stage or anything. You're doing the preaching/teaching thing really well. But we'll do anything else you need. Just tell us what you'd like."
A stunned silence comes over the staff--after all, this is a strange situation. But soon enough, the staff members snap out of it. "Uhh, well, OK. Well, how many of you are there? Six. Well, let's see. Could three of you be small group leaders? We're looking to start some new small groups, and clearly you'd be great at that. Peter, James, Paul, could you do that?
"Hmmm... you know, we just lost the person who heads up our First Impressions team a month ago, and it has been a bit lackluster. It has lost the punch it used to have. You know it's important that people have a strong impression of our church within the first 15 seconds when they come to the service. Priscilla, do you mind heading that up?
"Timothy, we could sure use another usher, you look like you could handle that. Lastly, Lydia, I hear you play a mean bass and can sing too. We're down a bass player and would love to have you in the band. Maybe you can even fill in and lead worship from time to time. Are you up for that?"
This is called plug-and-play. This is about having various positions we need filled in the machine of our churches and plugging people into those roles Now don't get me wrong: there are always going to be logistical needs when the scattered church gathers. That's reality, and we need to attend to that and do it well.
But does anyone really think this is where a church should be using Peter, James, Paul, Priscilla, Timothy, and Lydia? Would this be the most effective use of their time and energy given the skill sets they have [for multiplying followers of Jesus]?
THE AIRPORT 
I travel by plane almost every week. This means I get to visit a lot of airports. On a fairly routine basis, airports get confused about what they're there for -- and for whom. They think that if a bunch of planes are on the ground, close to the hub, and the concourse is full of people, they are winning. They apparently think they are the destination! Of course, when this happens, it means a bunch of people aren't getting where they want to go. They're stuck at the airport, like flies on flypaper.
The airport is a place of connection, not a destination. Its job is to help people get somewhere else. An airport-centric world of travel would be dull and frustrating, no matter how nice the airport is.
When the church thinks it's the destination, it also confuses the scorecard. It thinks that if people are hovering around and in the church, the church is winning. The truth is, when that's the case, the church is really keeping people from where they want to go, from their real destination. That destination is life. Lucky for us, it just so happens this is what Jesus promised to bring to us. (He did not say, 'I have come to give you church and give it to you more abundantly.') Abundant life is lived out with loved ones, friends, acquaintances in the marketplace, in the home, in the neighborhood, in the world.
The church is a connector, linking people to the kingdom life that God has for them. Substituting church activity as the preferred life expression is as weird as believing that airports are more interesting than the destinations they serve.
So... what do you think? Do these pictures tug at your heart for something richer? This is just a trim over the top into why we need missional leaders: people who can gently and personally mentor, leading us outside the safe spaces of the church building and into the world so the Kingdom might expand.
 "Multiplying Missional Leaders: From Half-Hearted Volunteers to a Mobilized Kingdom Force" by Mike Breen. 3DM, 2012.
 "Missional Renaissance" by Reggie McNeal. Jossey-Bass Publication, 2009. pg. 45.