LifeWay acquires publisher of small-group resources

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--LifeWay Christian Resources has acquired Serendipity House, a Colorado publisher of small-group resources for churches. The purchase was completed Aug. 2.

Asset acquisition of the 40-year-old company, known nationwide for its expertise in producing resources and training that puts relationship at the center of small-group Bible study, fills a void at LifeWay, said LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr.

"Serendipity is a name highly respected among pastors for its Bible study and discipleship small-group studies," Draper said. "LifeWay does not have the kind of small-group resources they have, and it really does fill a niche for us."

Founded in 1962 by Lyman Coleman, Serendipity House will continue to operate as a separate organization, keeping its same focus of ministry, Draper said.

"This is a very strong win-win situation for both of us," Draper said. "It expands a ministry area we need to get into and allows us both to realize our strategies and visions."

The publisher will become part of LifeWay church resources division's New Ventures initiative to acquire ministry-type businesses and develop alliances with influential churches and authors, Draper said. John Kramp, director of church ministry solutions for the division, will also oversee the New Ventures initiative that includes Serendipity.

"LifeWay is trying to adopt the concept that if we find a company doing something we could use, we form an alliance with them rather than reinventing the wheel," Draper said.

Serendipity is unique as a publisher of small-group resources, Kramp said, because most publishers focus either on content or relationships in their resources.

"What we've admired about Serendipity is that they have really figured out how to put those two together," he said. "People leave the group knowing more about the Bible, but they also have some really good friends to go to lunch with."

Frank Couch, president of Serendipity Foundation, will continue to direct curriculum and Bible publishing, and John Tucker, president of Serendipity House, will continue to lead day-to-day operations for LifeWay, Kramp said.

"We are excited about all the resources now available to us through LifeWay," Couch said. "We have been a successful small company, but we don't have the networking capabilities LifeWay has. Now we can impact many, many more churches with small-group study and ministry."

Couch described small groups as a "group of three to 12 people who meet to do relational Bible study and create an environment of authenticity."

He said Serendipity, through LifeWay, will continue 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 (in print and digital form) connecting 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.


(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: NEW LIFEWAY COMPONENT.

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