Adult Sunday School and Bible Study

Christian education is a very important part of our mission at the Paoli United Methodist Church. Jesus said,
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
(Matthew 28:19-20 NASB)

Adult Bible Study

As we study and learn what Jesus taught us, we will be more equipped to become His disciples and followers, and more able to share his Good News with others.

A small Bible study group meets on Wednesday morning. It's open to anyone interested in studying the Bible. It meets at 10:30 to 11:30 each Wednesday, and each meeting is led by the Pastor or by Harold Detweiler. They study and discuss one or two chapters each week.

We offer Sunday morning Bible study classes for adults.

Because we take seriously Jesus' words in Matthew 19:14 when he said "Let the little children come to me...", we also offer classes for children and teens age 4 through high school.

We also have a nursery where we welcome all newborns through 3-year-olds during both Sunday morning Bible Study classes and the Worship Service.

Our goal is to provide the best possible opportunities for spiritual learning, growth and fellowship. We invite you to join us each Sunday morning for Bible study at 9:00 A.M. and worship services starting at 10:15 A.M. Below are descriptions of the various study groups meeting every Sunday morning. Each of the classes would like to invite you to join them.

"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:20 NASB)

Faith Class

The Faith Class adult Bible study fellowship is an active group spanning a wide age range. They use Cokesbury's Adult Bible Study curriculum.

They periodically break from the curriculum to study and discuss material from varied publications. The Faith Class is taught by Keith Sparks.

Faith adult Bible study class.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-19 NIV)

Christ's message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. (Colossians 3:16 Good News Translation)

The Back Door

The Back Door adult Bible study class meets in the basement and is entered through a door at the back of the church.

The group, led by Eric Harmon, uses C. S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity and others of his books as they delve into theological issues, investigating explanations of the Trinity, the psychological development of a Christian, and how to apply Christianity in our daily lives.

The Back Door adult Bible study class on a typical Sunday morning.
The Back Door adult Bible study class, showing The Back Door.

Just in one two-month period, they discussed surprising trends in violence in our society, insights about vulnerability and shame, cooperation as it relates to the workings of the church and its missions, and an overview of major religious movements. TED lectures are among the new media they are using. One of the weekly mailings previewing that Sunday's discussion said:

What are your images of Christianity? Do you think of a powerfully-built Older Man who "had a Son" who "came down" to Earth? Did this Son later "ascend" to some sort of "palace in the stratosphere" where He is seated in a decorated chair a little to the right of the Older Man's throne?

How would you begin to justify these images to the person in the street who has heard all the scientific facts about the ozone layer and most of what lies beyond? Where would he or she find room for this "palace in the stratosphere"?

A C.S. Lewis essay, oddly titled "Horrid Red Things", gives us a means of reconciling these images. I think you will enjoy Lewis' explanation at 9:00AM this Sunday at The Back Door.

The Back Door adult Bible study class on a typical Sunday morning.

Then the following week:

Is there someone who is making your life harder than it should be? I think most of us can think of at least one.

If we share this problem with a friend or family member, they might ask, "Why don't you try to have a quiet, calm discussion with this person to see if you can get them to change?" "But", you answer, "you don't understand. They won't change; even if they agree to try, they will slip right back into the same behavior within a few days. It's just hopeless."

Let's listen to an audio version of C.S Lewis' essay, The Trouble with "X"... for some great insights into this problem.

Have a fun weekend and I'll see you Sunday morning at 9:00AM at The Back Door.

The Back Door adult Bible study class watching a video on a typical Sunday morning.
The Back Door adult Bible study class watching a video on a typical Sunday morning.

The Back Door group has organized the First Helping local mission project, see the missions page for details on that project.


The Becomers Class uses Cokesbury's Adult Bible Curriculum in addition to other Bible commentary and other books and videos with open discussion. The class is led by Mike Benham and Darrell Newkirk.

In addition to the regular curriculum, the Becomers have made the following studies:

  • Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, both books by C. S. Lewis.
  • Each member read on their own, and then discussed in class, the book Dinner With a Perfect Stranger by David Gregory.
  • The class took several weeks to discuss in depth The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church.
  • The class used a study guide to discuss two of Bruce Wilkinson's books, The Prayer of Jabez and A Life God Rewards.
  • The class discussed Joseph Girzone's book Joshua using a study guide.
  • The class occasionally views copies of great paintings that relate to the lessons.
Becomers adult Bible study class at Mount Airie, Tom Taggart's mansion in French Lick, Indiana.
Becomers adult Bible study class at Mount Airie, Tom Taggart's mansion in French Lick, Indiana.

The group also gets together for Christian fellowship and goes on outings to cultural events in Louisville and surrounding areas. Above, they are having lunch near French Lick at Mount Airie, originally the home of Tom Taggart, a powerful Indiana and U.S. politician in the early 1900s and the developer of the French Lick Springs Hotel.

Below, they have traveled in the church bus to Corydon's Hayswood Theatre for a Christmas presentation. They had dinner at a restaurant in Corydon after the show.

Becomers adult Bible study class at Corydon's Hayswood Theatre.

The Becomers class members regularly donate to the church's monthly collection of items for the Food Pantry,

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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. (Ephesians 4:9-13 Today's NIV)


The J.O.Y. class takes its name from "Jesus. Others. Yourself".

The J.O.Y. class is a sharing group. The Adult Bible Study Curriculum is used with sincere and lively discussions and good Christian fellowship throughout the year.

JOY adult Bible study class.
JOY adult Bible study class.
JOY adult Bible study class.
JOY adult Bible study class.
JOY adult Bible study class.

The J.O.Y. class is selling Christmas ornaments, red and white collectable ornaments commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Paoli United Methodist Church.

$10 each, see any J.O.Y. class member or look for them in the foyer any Sunday.

JOY adult Bible study class.