Dear Integrity Family Member,
Our celebration of Christmas marks the most generous act in human history! Jesus left a perfect heaven and entered our far-from-perfect world as a baby, so He could live among us, and then sacrifice Himself on the cross for our sins. I think that because of that singular act, Christmas tends to bring out the best in people in terms of GENEROSITY!
At Integrity Church we talk a lot about generosity because God’s Word talks a lot about generosity. GENEROSITY IS IMPORTANT in growing our faith and our becoming disciples of Jesus. Generosity is a fundamental expectation of a life that is committed to Jesus. Our level of generosity is a measure of our desire to partner with God in the building of His Kingdom. As we have been discussing in our recent Christmas series, God challenges us to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in every walk of life. Our level of generosity is an outside indicator of that willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. Thank YOU for allowing us, and supporting us, in talking a lot about generosity in the work of Integrity Church!
I’d like to ask you to consider joining me in making a special year-end gift to the ministry of Integrity Church, over and above your regular giving. (The Bible speaks of a) the tithe, b) the offering, which is that over and above the tithe, and c) sacrificial giving which is appropriate in times of urgent ministry need.) You can make your gift by going to this link: Click here to give.
On the heels of a very difficult 2020, the year 2021 brought new challenges to our world, and to the church, which God ordained to be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. As we continue to deal with things like the pandemic, the continuing manipulation of gender identity and sexuality, economic chaos, uncertain geopolitical posturing and maneuvering and governmental and election instability, etc. God has charged us as followers of Jesus, to be obedient in living into His principles, precepts and promises in the midst of these challenges. This lifestyle is one that is driven by FAITH rather than fear. A verse we have leaned on heavily in the past couple of years is Hebrews 11:6 (NLT)
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
There are reasons for great HOPE, and principle among those reasons is our assurance that in the midst of all the man-made crises, our Sovereign God is on His throne, and is still bringing people to Himself. We often refer to Psalm 20:7–8 (NLT)
Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God. 8 Those nations will fall down and collapse, but we will rise up and stand firm.
My prayer for our nation is that this passage will once again come to describe the attitude of the whole of the United States!
The Integrity Family
I love the resiliency of the folks in the Integrity family! With all that the negative ‘stuff’ occurring in our nation and our world, so many of our folks have stepped it up, living into the FAITH that God prescribes for us. The year 2020 was a very tough one, in which we saw the Integrity family rise to the occasion with many new initiatives to ‘do church’ in new ways – ways that will ultimately define a ‘new normal’. The year 2021 has been a year in which we have sustained and grown many of those initiatives, AND have begun more initiatives.
In spite of the pandemic, God has chosen to grow our church numerically with over 30 new families coming to Integrity during 2020, and another 40-50 joining the Integrity family during 2021. We are seeing so much great ministry impact from these wonderful folks!
I mentioned earlier the generosity of the Integrity family. It appears that we will finish 2021 with a 22% increase in tithes and offerings. This is the greatest single increase since the first couple of years of our church. This generosity has allowed us to fund some critical new initiatives, and has allowed us to grow areas in order to support the growth of our family.
A Look at 2021
2021 saw a number of really good – and Kingdom advancing – things happen…..
…..We baptized over 25 people who have made new decisions to follow Jesus.
….With the generosity of the Integrity family, we were able to offer financial and spiritual assistance to people inside and outside our church family during hard times brought on by pandemic. As a matter of fact, we were able to fulfill every 2021 request for assistance.
….The Integrity Bear Tree Ministry received 54 gift donations helping 22 families during the Christmas season.
… Over 30 new volunteers have joined our Sunday morning ministries. This staffing increase has helped to reduce shortages in volunteerism that had been hampered by the pandemic. Many of these new volunteers have joined our children’s ministries, bolstering an already effective faculty, and helping to ensure consistent high quality Biblical education.
… We have seen numerous folks join the Integrity family after having picked us up initially through our livestreams and our weekly radio broadcast on 95.1 The Maverick! The generosity of the Integrity family made possible the purchase of all the necessary equipment and software to ‘go virtual’.
… The Playschool @ Integrity, which opened in August 2020, serves children ages 2 – 4 and their families in a half day weekday format. For the 2021-2022 school year, The Playschool has experienced a nearly 70% increase in families served, causing us to add a new class, and to hire staff assistants to serve these precious children. We are also seeing more of these families considering making Integrity church their home!
… Integrity’s partnership with Faith Christian Academy has brought new sources of life to our church. With FCA, our playschool and other missional initiatives, Integrity has become more of a church that also serves as a ministry center. This missional diversity is an example of how YOU have supported Integrity becoming more focused on true Kingdom advancement. We have seen growth from 60 to nearly 150 students in the 17 months since FCA began operating on the Integrity campus. We have also seen numerous FCA families decide to make Integrity their church home.
… The emergence of ConVerge @ Integrity Café and Coffee Bar in the front of our Conference center area has brought many new people to our campus, and has served well the people of Integrity, FCA and our Playschool. A new ministry challenge awaits Integrity in 2022 as ConVerge becomes Mission House Café, coming under the operation of Integrity Church itself.
Integrity’s Life Development Ministries
2021 continued to see strong growth in our young adult, our children, and our pre-teen population. We are enthusiastic about these shifts, as they give our church new opportunity for influencing young lives for the Kingdom of God. And so, our Life Development ministries had a great year…
…. We are pleased and honored to have hosted an October weekend with legendary Christian Children’s entertainer The Donut Man, our new and good friend Rob Evans! Rob performed two sold out concerts, and he and wife Shelly touched the hearts of our men and women with their stories of faith and courage.
…. Missions-focused events such as Pack-a-lack and Operation Christmas Child worked to give our young people a more Biblical perspective of God’s purpose and plan for them, as individuals. The October Missions Conference saw our middle and high schoolers pack meals for over 10,000 needy children, while our young people led us in the packing of 450 Operation Christmas Child boxes.
…. Integrity sponsored the first ever combined ISM / FCA / Home School association prom
…. Our Friday Night Light continues to give our middle and high schoolers a great forum to build relationships and learn Biblical truths – together.
…. The aforementioned new ministry volunteers have brought versatility and fresh – and still solid – convictions and methods for educating our children and teens.
…. Our mid-summer Student camp impacted the 50 students who participated. A number of kids made significant steps in their spiritual journeys.
…. Our Sunday morning Student teaching forum continues to focus on techniques for studying the Bible.
.…A very successful and biggest ever October Trunk n’ Treat brought hundreds to the Integrity campus.
… Another action-packed live summer Vacation Bible School event for the Integrity children saw a record number of children participating.
…. The children’s presentation of ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ brought lots of fun and laughs to all of us!
…. New activities, such as water days and ‘pajamas and pancakes’ added new sources of fun and excitement for our young people.
God continued to sustain and expand the Missions outreach work of Integrity Church. Our 2021 Missions Golf Tournament was our most successful ever, raising in excess of $10,000. In addition, there were additional thousands of dollars raised to support missions both locally and internationally.
The pandemic has caused the ‘look’ of International missions to have to change, as actual trips to the regions have become less feasible in the current environment. While we hope this is a temporary trend, the Integrity Missions team will be continuing to re-define what these missional relationships will look like in the post-pandemic world. We will be committed to making sure these relationships will be absolutely impactful.
Following is a listing of our international missions objectives and projects….
… Esteli, Nicaragua – Here we have supported the work of Alberto and Minerva Leiva and Youth for Christ, as they lead young people to Jesus through their education work in this medium-sized inland city.
… Honduras – Our Integrity family members Steve and Candace Crothers serve here as a pilot/mechanic and Nurse with Alamance County-based Missionary Air Group. The MAG team provides medical aviation services to folks in the remote regions of the country.
… Ukraine – Our partnership continues with Open Door Foundation of the Ukraine, led by our new friend Vitaly Smolen. Vitaly and his team serve pre-teen and teen aged Ukrainians with educational and adventure camps, geared toward evangelism and discipleship.
… The island of Bocachica in Colombia, South America is home to the Christian School of Bocachica. The school was started by Nate and Tara Ariel of the Integrity family. The school currently serves children pre-K through 5th grade, with a grade being added each year.
… In Manzini, Swaziland, a nation in the southern portion of Africa, our new friend Jim Machuku directs the LEAD Camp for young people and young adults. The camp teaches personal responsibility and soft leadership skills to its attendees, and point them to Jesus. Integrity recently provided full funding for the inaugural LEAD camp. This ministry is led by Garry and Mary Ann Fritts of the Integrity family, themselves former missionaries to Swaziland.
… Hands of Care International mission serves the nations of Kenya, Tanzania, and other African nations in the provision of medical services, the conduct of medical camps, and in building church structures. Hands of Care is led my Mark DeFraites of the Integrity family, who provides leadership and logistical support from his home base here.
God has rapidly expanded the reach of our church. It’s exciting to think about how He will use our church, as we continue to navigate international missions in this changing world.
Thank You in Advance for Your Gift
Thank you again for considering this special year-end gift to help continue the work of Kingdom advancement through Integrity Church. Please know that every dollar given to Integrity is an eternal investment in building the kingdom of God.
Thanks and have a very Merry rest of the Christmas season, and a great 2021!
Again, you can make your gift by going to this link or clicking the button below: Click here to Give