Week 2— Discovering Barriers to Healing (John 5:1-17)

We studied the story of Jesus healing the paralytic then split into four groups to answer questions specific to each group.  After a period of discussion, we gathered back together and shared our thoughts as follows.  Read the Scripture passage above to better understand the responses.

The Narrator Group answered the following two questions: 

How do you think an outsider would see our church at this time?  An outsider would probably see us as a small church that is in need of leadership.  The might see us as broken because of what we have been through, and old church (perhaps that isn’t relevant?) filled with lost sheep)

How do we see ourselves and our role as a church? 
We are active in our community.  We host Meals-on-Wheels and the Open Door Nursery.

Questions for Additional Consideration of Narrator Responses:
Why do you think an outsider would see us this way?  Is this the way we see ourselves?  Do you have a different answer?

What leadership do we have today, and why do we feel we don’t have any? 
Can you identify current leadership and how to support it?

The group identified our activity in the community and specifically mentions MOW and ODN.  How would you describe our role as a church in the community?  Is there more happening that we are not seeing or recognizing, causing us to feel like we are “not enough”?

The Jesus Group answered these questions:

What do you see as the potential for health in this church? 
We are a God-based congregation with good potential to be a healthy church.

How would Jesus’ method for healing apply to our church? 
We need to “pick up our mat” and get it done.

Questions for Additional Consideration of “Jesus” Team Responses:

  • What signs of “potential” do you identify in our congregation? 

  • What does a “God-based” congregation look like?  What might be missing? 

  • What does “picking up our mat” look like?  How do we do that.  Identify the “mat” (what we need to pick up)

  • What does picking up your mat look like?  Where does God want you to move forward?

  • How do we “get it done”?  Identify specific areas and steps we could take.


The Paralytic Group answered the following two questions: 
What is paralysis?
  Not volunteering.  Inaction.  Frozen.  Lacking leadership.  Lack of direction.

For how long have we been paralyzed?   Three-plus years.

In what ways do we as a church feel paralyzed at this time?  Being unwilling to adjust to change.

 Questions for Additional Consideration of Paralytic Team Responses:

  • In what areas do you feel the church has a lack of direction?

  • Do you think there is a lack of volunteerism? 
    If so, why do you think that exists? 
    What can we do to encourage you and/or others to be involved?

  • In what areas do you think the church might be paralyzed, and why?

 The Jewish Leaders Group answered the following two questions:

In what ways do we want to keep the church the same and/or play by the same rules?
We want to keep the same fellowship we had.

We want to continue to be servants.

Of what do we have a hard time letting go?  Tradition.

 Questions for Additional Consideration of Jewish Leaders Team Responses:

  • Is it possible for a fellowship to stay the “same”?  What changes happen regularly?

  • Is it feasible to keep everything the same without examining what we are doing to determine its effectiveness?