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Hanafee Profile


Mike and Susan Hanafee and family

Restore Church
Detroit, Michigan

1)  Describe your call to plant.

Through ministering at a friend's church in inner city Denver, preaching through the book of Acts at my former church, and praying for "someone" to plant a church in Detroit God called me to plant Restore Church. This call was confirmed on a scouting trip in January 2010 when I drove 1,741 miles in and around Detroit in 8 days! Looking back on the experiences of my 42 years of life, 15 years of being a Christian, and 11 years of pastoral ministry I can how God has been preparing my wife and I for this moment.

2)  Describe the community where you are planting.

Known as the “crown jewel of the Midwest” during the post WWII car manufacturing boom, Detroit enjoys a very very rich industrial, architectural, athletic, and musical legacy—from Henry Ford to the Fisher Building, from Joe Louis to the Eastern Market, from Aretha Franklin to the waterfront, and many other people and places. Covering an area the size of Boston, Manhattan, and San Francisco combined, Detroit has much to offer. I loved and enjoyed the city as a child and I love and enjoy the city as an adult. Author and apologist Francis Schaeffer called humanity “The Glorious Ruin.” There is indeed a glory to Detroit! At the same time, many would acknowledge with one glance at the schools, governmental corruption, neighborhoods, past (and current) race relations, crime statistics, and the conditions of many of the residents that Detroit is profoundly broken. Some have even go so far to say that Detroit is beyond restoration.

But God, who is over all and able to breathe life into dry bones, is moving on Motown. With many eyes on Detroit as the test case for the future of the post-industrial rust belt city several interesting things have happened. A new, no nonsense, and reforming chapter in city government is being written as Dave Bing (former Detroit Piston star) has taken office. A strategic initiative (NEXT) has been launched to reinforce & redevelop 6 distinct neighborhoods. Federal funding is being deployed. Grassroots community betterment organizations are emerging (ModelD). Several companies are moving into Detroit among which are some high-tech businesses. A $430 million public light rail system has been proposed for Detroit with construction scheduled to begin late 2011. Of course, apart from the gospel, such revitalization will only be cosmetic and not genuinely transforming. But we believe these are waves of opportunity upon which the gospel can advance in and through Detroit, and that we are called to join others who are seizing this great moment to make known the saving fame of Jesus.

Specifically, God has lead us to plant Restore in the Northend & Boston-Edison neighborhoods of Central Detroit. Within the 48202 & 48206 zip codes (with a combined population of 52,000) nearly half the households are under the poverty line & over half the working age population is either unemployed or not in the labor force. {statistics from PerceptGroup} Northend, under considerable urban blight with a high concentration of unwed mothers, is 1 of the 6 neighborhoods targeted by the NEXT initiative. The average income in the Northend is $20,708. Boston-Edison, while still experiencing a real measure of blight is a bit more economically stable. More recently people are beginning to move into Boston-Edison because of its history and culture, solid housing stock, and proximity to Wayne State and the downtown district.

We believe we are getting in on something really big for the advance of the gospel to all peoples in central Detroit! We believe that God has a people for His name in these neighborhoods (Acts 19:10) who will become a movie trailer (I Peter 2:9-10) for His everlasting gospel celebration by all peoples (Revelation 7:9-12).

3)  How are you developing your core group?

In short, through heavy indigenous relational involvement. Based on interest in the church by those in metro Detroit and beyond (over 30,000 views on our blog as of July 2011) we could launch a fairly well attended public service soon...in our context, however, such an approach in the long run would be counterproductive. The number in attendance, formal sermon, great band, and prepared facility might look good from a distance but, without a significant involvement of 48202 and 48206 locals, it would communicate to our community (however sincere our intentions) that we’ll put on church while you come and watch. It will not breed and feed an indigenous movement. What is more, it will reinforce the popular notion in our context that church is about a special time, a special place, and a special man.

So we are taking a “slow-burn” approach. In this initial and embryonic phase, instead of seeing ourselves as planting a church service, we want to focus on planting the gospel in our local soil, out of which a church will arise. Then, when we invite people to “public worship services”, locals will see that Restore is not a transplant from without but a movement from within, as evidenced by the real participation of long-time residents. We believe this deliberate approach will provide lasting traction and long term impact in the 48202, 48206, and beyond. Frankly, this approach scares the daylights out of me. We can’t manufacture this. God will have to step in!

Instead of a setting a date for our public launch the benchmark is when we have 4 Missional Communities. July 17 we formally launch and commission our first Missional Community consisting of 11 adults (all but one now live in our area) and 9 children. We are connecting with our neighbors through Restore work projects, joining other neighborhood projects, our Saturday sports outreach at a school in our area, Friday night cookouts, prayer walks, our ManUp program at my house for young guys age 15-19, informal bi-monthly worship services at our co-planter's house attended by 25-40 people, and just begin outside and visible a lot. I was also recently invited to serve on our neighborhood board.

4)  What is the church's vision, mission, and values?


The Bible is the story of God restoring His Kingdom on earth through the work of Jesus. In Revelation 21 we see something radical—God’s future redeemed world and universe is depicted as a city, the New Jerusalem. What began in a garden will end in a city where a restored multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language will enjoy God together forever!At Restore we are committed to building not just a good church, but a great neighborhood and a great city by bringing physical, racial, and spiritual restoration through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are seeking no less than a restored city, a Detroit that looks increasingly like the city to come!


To show and tell Jesus multiple times in multiple ways to every man, woman & child in the 48202/48206 zip codes in order to make disciple making disciples.

  • Gospel-centered—This is not the first on a list of core values but our CORE VALUE from which all the others flow. Our message is not moralism, not pragmatism, not political agendas, but who Jesus is and what He has done. We are made right with God by Him and we live out our relationship through Him. Unbelievers and believers need Jesus. The Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christianity but the A to Z of Christianity.
  • Incarnational—In the ultimate missionary act God became man and lived among and served humanity in the power of the Spirit before giving Himself a sacrifice for sinners. As those sent by the “sent one” (Jn 20:21) we want to follow His example not only by living in Central Detroit but by serving and becoming part of central Detroit.
  • Missional—Though the word “missional” has become a bit of a buzzword there really is nothing new or sexy about the concept. Missional living is simply about Christians living intentionally in community before and with the greater community in ways (I Peter 1-3) that demand a gospel explanation (I Pet 3:15). Every believer is a paid full time missionary (we just get our check routed in different ways!) and is to wrap his/her life around mission with others in intentional community.
  • Multiplying movement—Our marching orders are unarguably clear—“in going make disciples” (Matt 28:19). This demands not only multiplying disciples but also multiplying churches in partnership with others who champion this kingdom advancing passion. As the missional communities that will compose Restore Church grow, some will become new churches through which the gospel advances across the neighborhoods and outward.
  • Discipleship and deployment of indigenous converts—We are not bringing a church into central Detroit (the Potted Plant approach) but organically building a church within central Detroit (the Native Soil approach). Gospel movements that experience lasting traction are those that emphasize discipling and deploying new converts from the local soil. Therefore we put a high premium on both formal and life discipleship through our missional communities and, incrementally, but in significant ways, deploying new Jesus followers. We disciple new believers by bringing them on mission with us, we deploy new believers by going on mission with them.

5)  What does community life look like in your church plant?

Every Wednesday evening we gather as Restore's first Missional Community at my house for a meal, fellowship, prayer, study, and planning. We recently completed our first missional community covenant - a strategic plan for how we are going to accomplish our mission of showing and telling Jesus for the next 12 months in the 8 block area we have targeted for our initial focus of gospel saturation. The rest of the week we live out in various ways our commitment to one another and the community at large.

6)  How can we pray for you?

  1. That I would love my wife and family well.
  2. That we would both feel and extend the Father's love for us in the gospel like never before.
  3. That God would continue to gather core team members committed to our theology and methodology.
  4. That in this embryonic stage of our plant God would powerfully pour out His Spirit and save several locals who have future leadership capacity.
  5. That God would connect us with African-american families of like faith and practice who would move to our neighborhood to be on mission with us and who we could share leadership with as we seek to raise up future leaders from our immediate context.  
  6. That God would teach us to pray until it is our deepest pain and highest joy.
  7. That we would be cognizant of the spiritual warfare around us and utterly dependent on the Lord and His protection as we participate in His great gospel advance.
  8. That our summer cookouts will produce many friendships with neighbors who will be willing to do a 10 week evangelistic Bible study with us in the fall.
  9. That God would provide good long term homes for the Hanafee and Bontrager families.
  10. That God would continue to bring in the financial resources necessary to plant a lasting church in a low-income neighborhood.

Contact Mike

Phone Number:  971.246-4165

E-Mail:  mikehanafee@resdetroit.org

Web:  www.resdetroit.org