The Rev. David Martin Hanke


I grew up in Virginia, spending a lot of years in Williamsburg (elementary and middle school, then back for the College of William and Mary). In 1994, I moved to Texas and worked for ten years with students at The University of Texas at Austin. A lot of those years were spent in coffee shops talking about hard questions and what it means to have a relationship with God. My goal was to develop leaders who multiplied themselves into others and to build multi-ethnic communities that revealed the reconciliation power of the Gospel.

In 2004, my family and I headed to the North Shore of Boston so I could complete my Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. During seminary we worshiped at Christ Episcopal Church and fell in love with the three streams (evangelical, charismatic, catholic) of historic Anglicanism.

In 2006, we moved to Arlington so that I could work as an Assistant Rector at The Falls Church.  A group of friends and I started praying in 2008 about starting a new church. That dream became Restoration on Jan 25, 2009. Here are my reflections on that first day.

Laurel and I got married in 1997. We have 4 kids: Macrae (’01), Bennett (’04), Helen (’07), and James Howard (’10). As a family we love bike riding, camping, going to the beach, reading stories, and playing lots of Uno and Monopoly.

Random Affections

The cycling community around Arlington.  I love these folks:  Veni Vidi Velo, Tiki, Tomahawk Breakfast, departing from the Italian Store, Thursday Hills, racing up Courthouse… Such a great group. Always open if you want to jump in.

13.1 miles.  It’s the perfect distance: my house to the Washington Monument… and back.

5:00-7:00am. The kids are still asleep (mostly). I’m holding hot coffee, staring out the window, praying through my day, talking myself into exercise.

Restoration Peeps. We call them Restos. I never thought I could have so much fun being a pastor.

Ben and Jerry’s ‘Chubby Hubby’. Pretzels, peanut butter, chocolate. Frozen. Are you kidding me?

Coaching little people soccer. Goals a plenty. Lots of high fives. And a critical concern with after-game snacks.

Longhorn Football. Some years you have Colt McCoy. Some years you have Case. Austin was a fun place to spend my 20s.

Glacier National Park took my breath away and hasn’t given it back. When your first experience of backpacking has that much beauty… well it’s just not fair to all the other trails to start with the best. Can’t wait to return.

Jimmy Mills, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby. Especially when they are all on stage together. To be honest, I’ve had the same playlist for almost 20 years. I never get tired of ‘em. But you don’t want me to be the DJ on a road trip.

Roof Racks. Really. The sight of 2 wheels on the top of your car always makes me do a second take.

Eugene Peterson is the writer who convinced me that God is always moving first and never forgets to hold the universe together. His thoughts on the pastor as ‘harpooner’ literally changed my life.

“To insure the greatest efficiency in the dart, the harpooners of this world must start to their feet out of idleness, and not out of toil.”

Andy Stanley inspires me every time he speaks. Patrick Lencioni helps me understand the mysteries of organizational leadership. Ruth Haley Barton made spiritual practices that strengthen my soul accessible to me. Brenda Salter McNeil pushed me to contend for Biblical reconciliation and Racial Justice. Bryan Stevenson is currently doing incredible work of restoration. Todd Deatherage started an organization that has changed the definition of ‘Disciple of Jesus’ to include peace-making. These men and women mentor me from a distance and teach me to be formed into the image of Christ. I am grateful for them.

All of my bookshelves are alphabetized by author. Interpret what this means about me as you will.

Life always feels very full but never boring. And I always have time for a conversation about Jesus, really hard questions, heartache, and hope. Those conversations are what I do. I hope I get to have one with you.

“At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. BUT WE SEE HIM…” (Hebrews 2:8-9) That’s it. That’s my whole theology and understanding of life. We endure to the end, in the power of the Spirit, waiting for Jesus to make all things new, to the glory of God.

1 Comment

  1. SOUNDINGS – What Then Shall We Do? | Coracle
    February 20, 2019 @ 9:47 pm

    […] Shalom”.   The theme of this year’s conference is “Contemplative Activism”.   To quote Rev. David Hanke, another founder of M25 and this year’s M25 Director, “We are contemplative activists learning […]