On the September 25th edition of The Defender Podcast, Drew Raynor, Pastor of Harvest Church in Cary, North Carolina joined host Herbie Newell to discuss church planting, adoption, and discipleship. Drew is married to his wife, Taylor, and has three children, two biological and one through domestic adoption.
Drew was part of a church planting team sent out through Imago Dei church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Harvest wasn’t a church plant in the way most people think of them. Harvest Church began as an existing church that was struggling to survive. About ten families composed primarily of members over the age of 60 remained from the existing church. More families from Imago Dei joined those ten, and Harvest Church was planted.
Because of its beginning, one of the greatest challenges to this special church plant has been that of unity. Harvest Church was neither the old church nor the same as Imago Dei; they were a unique body that needed to reach their unique community. Cary is a very diverse area, with many nations represented with its population. According to the North American Mission Board, Cary is one of the most unreached geographical areas in North Carolina and across the country. The need to serve such a diverse community meant that Harvest also wanted to become more and more diverse. As they have grown in theology and the unifying truth of the gospel, the church continues to come together and love their growing community.
In the midst of church planting, Drew shared some truths that these past five years with Harvest Church have taught him:
- This church is God’s mission, so He is building the church; it is not our job to do great things for Him but to be obedient and faithful to what He calls us.
- God is asking us to lay our lives and plans down to His abundant will and plan, which may look differently than what we anticipated.
- Be willing to walk in humility and submission to God and let Him accomplish what He wants to accomplish. Don’t look to have success in your own eyes or desire something YOU built.
Drew’s own experience with adoption has helped build orphan care into a foundational value at Harvest Church. He understands that, as a pastor, his family is a real-life example of orphan care and birth mother ministry to the members of His church and the community. He believes that orphan care is a worldwide ministry but also actively seeks to encourage indigenous churches around the world to get involved in caring for the vulnerable. Drew participated in the Colombia pastor’s conference with Herbie and other leaders earlier in 2019. When asked why the indigenous church’s involvement with caring for the vulnerable is important, Drew share the following thoughts:
- There is a beauty when local congregations see God’s invitation to demonstrate gospel works where they are.
- The surrounding community sees the people who look and talk like them living out the gospel in their midst.
- Westerners don’t have more Jesus than anybody else.
- When the indigenous church is involved, there is a continuity of care that deepens discipleship and gospel justice.
Drew’s participation in the Colombia Pastor’s Conference was part of (un)adopted’s work for the vulnerable across the globe. If you’d like more information about getting involved with (un)adopted, please contact us here.