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We Are Real Life: Week Six – Identify, Equip, and Release Leaders and Functioning as a Team

We Are Real Life: Week Six – Identify, Equip, and Release Leaders and Functioning as a Team

Bottom Line: Jesus’ Church is victorious as we commit to doing the right things the right way.



  • We are establishing a culture of values
  • The 7 Essentials so far: Abide in Christ, Reach the Lost, Connect the Unconnected, Chase the Strays, Shepherd Toward Spiritual Maturity…
  • Today we focus on our last 2
    • Essential 6: Identify, Equip & Release Leaders
    • Essential 7: Function as a Team


What makes a winning team?

  1. Clear Leadership
  2. A Defined Win and Goals
  3. Assigned Roles on the Team
  4. Practice and Progress


Matthew 28:1620 NIV

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


  1. Clear Leadership
  • Jesus – “all authority has been given to me”
  • His Church – “therefore go”
  • His Word – “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”
  1. A Defined Win and Goals
    • Jesus made it clear what was most important – reaching people for Jesus and making disciples
    • The Disciples knew how to disciple based on what they had seen
  2. Assigned Roles on the Team
    • No one in the early church was a bystander – they were all involved
    • Some were given roles of leadership – they had to be equipped
  3. Practice and Progress
    • The early church did not do it perfectly – they were corrected and encouraged often
    • We have a promise of support “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


Ephesians 4:15 & 11-16  NIV

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all…


11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.


14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”


Behaviors that must be present for a biblical, healthy, disciple-making, team:

  1. We are…Christ-Centered – “be completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love” (vs 2)
  2. We are…Committed to Each Other – “Keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace” (vs 3)
  3. We are…Equipped for Works of Service – “to equip his people for works of service” (vs 12)
  4. We are…Continually Maturing – “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of Christ” (vs 13)
  5. We are…Celebrators of Growth – “we speak the truth in love” (vs 15)


John 17:2023 NIV

20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”


Responses to this Series:

  • What is Jesus doing in your life? Do others around you know?
  • Are you committed to His church? Is that reflected in how you serve, give & participate?
  • If you’ve lost passion, what is your next step?
  • Where could you use your gifts for His mission?


For Small Group Discussion

Opening Question: What is something that you are equipped to do now, that you never imagined doing?

Main Point: We will fulfill the command in Ephesians 4 to equip all God’s people for service in His kingdom and release them to make disciples of Christ. 

Main Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-16

Head Questions

  • What makes a good team? What is a team that you have been on? Is (or was) it a winning team?
  • What does it mean to “live in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called?”

Heart Questions

  • What have you been equipped to do? How might that be useful for God and His church?
  • What is Jesus doing in your life? Do others around you know?

Hands Questions

  • What is your role in helping to build up the body of Christ? Organizational leadership is not for everyone, but we are all called to lead others towards Christ—who are you leading currently?
  • How can you apply the teachings from this series to how you function as a team?

Additional Scripture: Matthew 28:16-20, John 17:20-23, 1 Corinthians 12:12-26

Tips and Resources: “How to Lead a Great Small Group” class, The Way of the Shepherd: Seven Secrets to Managing Productive People by Dr. Kevin Leman & Bill Pentak


To watch Episode 1 of The Story of Real Life go here: https://bit.ly/Thestory1    (www.thestoryofreallife.com)

For more sermon resources, podcasts, and other tools go to:  https://realliferesources.org/current-series/       (www.realliferesources.org)