Beliefs and Values of the United Methodist Church

John 3:16 close view.

Our Beliefs and Values

We believe the church belongs to God and that the church is, in the words of the Apostle Paul, the body of Christ. The church is to be the physical presence of Christ in the world. As such, our primary aim is to do God's will. We believe that God has called the United Methodist Church to the following:

Our Beliefs

  1. The Bible
    We believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, controlling both faith and daily life. The life of the Church is determined by the words of the Bible. We further believe that the Apostles Creed is the best summary of the Christian faith as found in the Bible.
  2. The Church
    The Church is the body of Christ on earth, consisting of those who have received the sacrament of Baptism and therefore obey the words of Hebrews 10:25 to gather together for worship.
  3. Preaching
    Preaching is the proclamation of the Word of God by the pastor, based on actual texts from the Bible. It is not a matter of human opinion but rather is the spoken explanation of what God says in the Bible about our faith and morals.
  4. The Sacraments
    The Sacraments are channels of divine grace specifically instituted by Jesus Christ Himself. Protestants recognize only two and only two: Baptism and Holy Communion. Baptism initiates us into the fellowship of the church and Holy Communion strengthens us during our earthly journey.
  5. Eternal Life
    The whole point of the Christian Church is to get believers safely from this world into the world of eternal happiness found only in Heaven. Human life has no meaning unless we are admitted to the joys of Heaven and therefore escape the agony of eternal damnation in Hell.
  6. Protestant rather than Catholic
    The United Methodist Church is proud to be part of the Reformation. We accept no human as an intermediary between us and God. We believe no man or woman is infallible. As for matters of faith, we reject anything not found in the Bible. We especially reject the false notion that we can be saved by our own good works. No human can do enough good works to pay for salvation. We are saved by the Blood of Jesus and only by faith in Him.

What is a United Methodist?

United Methodists are the second largest Protestant denomination in America. We are the home to both President Bush and Senator Dole, as well as President Clinton's family when he was in the White House. Methodists have played a significant role in shaping our nation, especially the heart of the Midwest.

United Methodists hold to the historic doctrines of the Christian faith. We are evangelical, but moderates rather than fundamentalists. We value the intellect and modern science, while at the same time looking to the Bible as the authoritative guide for faith and practice. Methodists have a passionate faith with strong convictions, but we also recognize that the world is not always black and white. We are willing to ask questions, to wrestle with difficult issues, and to do so with grace and compassion.

Methodists have been known for our emphasis on a personal faith, lived out in concrete ways in the world. We have historically valued well-informed and passionate preaching, worship that is lively, and small groups where people could grow in faith.

Methodists have open hearts, and open minds — and welcome anyone interested in learning more about the Christian faith. If you would like to know more about what it means to follow Christ, please call 812-723-2965 and ask to speak to the pastor or e-mail us.

Passing a sign of peace during the service at the Paoli United Methodist Church.

Passing the sign of peace during the service.

Passing a sign of peace during the service at the Paoli United Methodist Church.

Passing the sign of peace during the service.

Our Purpose

Our purpose and mission statement is to follow the teachings of Christ by meeting individual needs without discrimination through Worship, Evangelism, Christian Education, Stewardship, Mission, Fellowship and Community Concerns.

Our Vision

Our church's vision is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Our Journey

Our church is on a journey to knowing, loving and serving God.

The chancel choir singing a cantata during the service at the Paoli United Methodist Church.

Music plays an important role in our worship services.

Our Strategies

The following five broad areas of ministry constitute the primary means of accomplishing our purpose and vision. They are the historic elements of the church's mission: Worship, Evangelism, Service, Discipleship and Fellowship.

Our first aim is to glorify God in worship; our second is to introduce people to Jesus Christ through evangelism; our third is to help persons of all ages to become deeply committed Christians through ministries of discipleship; our fourth is to build caring relationships and foster mutual ministry among the church family through authentic Christian fellowship; and finally, we aim to train, equip, inspire and mobilize members to live out their faith as salt and light outside the walls of the church through ministries of service.

Our Values

It is our desire to honor God through our work on His behalf. To that end, we will do His work with the qualities we most value: integrity, grace, excellence, relevance, authenticity, passion, humility, faith, inclusivity, commitment, joy and love.

Are you Interested in Learning Still More About the Beliefs and Values of Our Church?

Please call our church office at +1-812-723-2965 and schedule a talk with our pastor. Or, visit us for a service and speak with the pastor after the service.