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Biblical foundation, chance discoveries found in Serendipity House materials

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Serendipity -– a word that means “surprise; the making of unexpected happy chance discoveries” -– reflects the philosophy of Serendipity House publishers: Every time small groups gather, there ought to be “serendipitous” experiences.

A group at Eastside Baptist Church in Richmond, Ky., for example, has used Serendipity House’s undated resources to put relationships at the center of its Bible study experiences.

Eddie Mosley and Travis Buchner are co-leaders of the small group. Mosley said the Serendipity House studies “play a vital role in helping our people build trusting relationships, which, in turn, lead to a sense of community.”

The Serendipity experience includes three parts:

Ice Breaker time — fun, non-threatening history-giving questions designed to warm the group and build understanding among the participants.

Bible study time — the examination and reading of Scripture using questions to stimulate conversation, with an emphasis on biblical understanding and life application.

Caring time — the group closure in prayer for the direction and care needs of one another and for unsaved people who will become part of the group.

Mosley said the ice-breaker questions in each unit help people begin conversations with each other without feeling threatened. “One of the questions was, ‘What was your favorite vacation when you were a child?’ One of our young women admitted that her family never took family vacations.”

The group recognized this was a painful part of her life experience. This opened up conversation within the group among others who had similar hurts.

“Knowing this, I was able to use the rest of the material to guide the group in addressing some baggage,” Mosley said. “Recognizing what is causing you to hurt is the first step toward dealing with it.”

LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention purchased Serendipity House, a Colorado-based company, in 2002. The acquisition filled a ministry niche since LifeWay did not have the same kind of small group resources as Serendipity House.

“Serendipity has figured out how to combine content and relationship in their resources, something that is unique,” said John Kramp, director of LifeWay’s church ministry solutions area, who oversees the New Ventures initiative that includes Serendipity House. “People leave the group knowing something about the Bible, but they also have developed some really good friends to go to lunch with.”

Mosley said this is the case in his group. “Our group has become a family through the Serendipity House materials. Our foundation is true Christian community where openness is blessed and honored.”

Serendipity House is committed to publishing and developing resources that create a positive and intimate small group atmosphere. Through that commitment, Serendipity House seeks to:

— Provide cutting-edge training for effective relational small groups through live seminars, consultation, training resources and the Internet.

— Combine effective relational small group dynamics with curriculum that connects people wherever they may be in their spiritual journey.

— Collaborate with other small group entities to create “safe place” communities (small groups) where people can experience life change through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Serendipity House resources in the adult series include “Becoming a Disciple,” “Fellowship Church Series,” “Foundations of Faith,” “Growing in Christ,” “Life Connection,” “Men of Purpose,” “Message of Paul,” “Understanding the Savior” and “Words of Faith.” The student series includes “God Talk” and “Hang Time.”
More information about Serendipity House can be accessed at serendipityhouse.com and lifeway.com.

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  • Polly House