In the heart of a city that needs Jesus…
…is the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood. Arguably one of the key epicenters of this gateway city of San Francisco.
“Whom shall I send"? Who will go for me"?” – We have answered this call and we want you to be part of it. Join the story Jesus is telling in the heart of San Francisco.
“We fell in love with these people and laid it all on the line to tell them about Jesus”
C.J. and Renee’ Bergmen – Citizens Church Planters
•an important endeavor
San Francisco’s Haight/Ashbury was forever shaped by the radical movement of love and inclusion during the 1969 summer of love known as The Hippie Movement. Hippie’s dreamed of a society marked by love and acceptance. That dream is still alive in The Haight and Golden Gate Park. We believe Jesus and His church offers what they are looking for; a body of radical Jesus followers living like family, serving one another, and living missionally in the everyday stuff of life.
The Haight represents everything people have in mind when they think of San Francisco. Free love, expression, the arts, street culture, bohemian ideals. It is the very heart of the city. It is one of the last neighborhoods in the city retaining the culture established in the 60’s. In other words, this neighborhood matters. It is critical that the gospel and the kingdom take root here.
• Uniquely poised
Citizens has a unique opportunity to reach this neighborhood. With most of our core living in the neighborhood or those directly adjacent, the Haight is a central meeting ground for our people. We have spent the last few years building relationships with business owners, gaining favor with the locals, and doing outreach to the homeless community.
Citizens is the only church we know of that has been able to penetrate the houseless community of Golden Gate Park; earning trust, establishing ourselves as humble learners and beginning to help people walk out of brokenness toward paths of rehabilitation.
The city spends millions each year trying to solve the homeless epidemic in the city. What if the church stepped up and showed them what happens when peoples’ lives are changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Our decision to use a Missional model for Citizens was intentional and strategic for this neighborhood. People who live in this part of a city are unimpressed with polished Sunday services and slick programs. You have to get on the ground. You have to demonstrate the love of Christ in a radical and authentic way. We have done that slowly and intentionally, and we are just getting started.
• what we need
$2,000/month: Facility Costs (New Traditions Elementary School Rental)
As a missional church plant in San Francisco, the big challenge is growth. When you meet in homes and organic spaces in the city, it can keep you from attracting and gathering believers to join your mission who are used to a traditional Sunday service experience. We took the leap of faith to rent a space and add gatherings so that we could move toward longterm sustainability. Since gathering, we have grown by 10% every 6 months. God is drawing new people with new gifts and a heart to reach this city and this neighborhood. Help us continue to gather in this way while we increase our internal giving base. [INVEST]
$1000/month: Edei Ministry to Strippers in North Beach
There are approximately 50 strip clubs in North Beach of San Francisco. Strip clubs are often one of the least-reached domains of a city, with little access to the church or the gospel. Right now we have a group of women entering a specific club every few weeks to demonstrate the gospel in word and deed. We need resources to be able to purchase bibles and gift bags to serve these women, as well as to bring one of our volunteers on part time to duplicate this effort across the city. Help us reach strippers for Jesus . [INVEST]
$2,000/month: Pastoral Needs
With the enormously high cost of living, some of our staff are having to work bi-vocationally to make ends meet. We are trying to get all of our staff to full time so that they can be freed up to focus on the work here; to make more of an investment in the community, interact with city leaders, non-profits in the city, building partnerships and infrastructure. Help us reach out maximum potential for city-wide investment. [INVEST]
$2,000/month: Worship and Arts Pastor
Music and the arts are important in any church setting, but all the more in a neighborhood marked by the legacy of The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. We want to bring our worship leader on full time so that he can focus on his recording studio and ministry to the artist community in our neighborhood and city. Help musicians in the city to have encounters with Jesus through this work. [INVEST]
$500/month: Program/Ministry Fund for Neighborhood Outreach
Citizens is already doing so much to serve The Haight, but there is a lot more we could be doing. We would like a fund set aside to focus on blessing the neighbors, businesses and houseless community in The Haight. By doing this, we will continue to gain favor with the people in our neighborhood, demonstrating the tangible realities of Christ’s Kingdom and elevating the awareness of this new community. Help us make Jesus famous in The Haight with our tangible acts of love and service. [INVEST]
$500/month: Benevolence fund for Members needs
We are reaching a population that brings with it a large amount of needs. Addiction, mental illness, poverty, low income. There are many ongoing needs in our own community from groceries to medicine, counseling and care. Help us invest in the flourishing of our own people so that they may grow into healthy and whole disciples of Christ. [INVEST]
$500/month: Program/Ministry Fund for Homeless Rehabilitation
There are so many broken systems in San Francisco for the houseless and marginalized. Citizens has spent 4 years learning all of the ins and outs of how someone gets an ID, obtains a case worker, navigates the waiting list for housing, finds work programs. We are ready to pull the trigger on getting people the help they need, but need resources to do this. Help us make meaningful moves to get people housed, fed and rehabilitated. [INVEST]
join a movement of god’s people changing a city for his glory
CURRENT GIVING STATS
• 46% SELF-SUSTAINED
• 86% CHURCH PARTICIPATION RATE
• 7% ESTIMATED AVERAGE GIFT OF EACH CITIZENS MEMBER
• 29 HOUSEHOLDS CURRENTLY GIVING
• 46 HOUSEHOLDS NEEDED TO BE SELF-SUSTAINED
• 20% APPROXIMATE ANNUAL GROWTH RATE OVER 4 YEARS
• 85% GROWTH IN THE PAST YEAR
WHAT WE HAVE DONE
•Spring 2014 – Began dreaming of a new church for The Haight and attended Soma School to train for Missional Church Planting.
• Summer 2014 – Recruited a launch team of 8 people and began first Missional Community.
• Fall 2014 – Gathered 40 people in our neighborhood community for a bbq to build relationships and move toward launch.
• Spring 2015 – Met for first Sunday Worship Service.
•Summer 2015 – Launched regular Sunday Gathering.
• Spring 2016 – Merged with King’s Cross (A church plant of 20 people).
• Summer 2017 – Began gathering regularly at New Traditions Elementary School with a core of 40 people and intentionally transitioning to more of a growth model while retaining Missional DNA.
• Fall 2018 – Given oversight of San Francisco Outer Circle (A 20 year Ministry to the houseless community in Golden Gate Park)
WHAT WE WILL DO
• Multiply into 6 Missional Communities in 2019.
• Broaden influence and partnerships with local churches, organizations and individuals.
• Coach and equip other local church plants for gospel saturation through missional models.
• Host trainings for how to love the houseless community in an integrated format.
• Grow our internal giving base and disciple our church to increased faithful giving.
Demographics | A Global City
2017 population of San
Francisco; 7.1 million in
bay area (sf curbed)
Spiritual Climate | A Lost City
u.s. rank for both
unchurched & dechurched;
#8 for post-christian (barna)
BE PART OF GOD’S STORY
+ Ali's Story
"With a fairly legalistic background, I had learned a lot of theology and doctrine, but in this past year at Citizens I’ve seen and tasted more of the heart of Christ than ever before. This church pushes past the awkward, the uncomfortable, the weird, the annoying and just straight up loves people and seeks Jesus. No one here has more time in a day than anyone else in the world, but you'd think they had double. Conversations are slower, listening is real, caring runs deeper. You are loved, valued and wanted before you're even known, just because of who your Creator is. "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." At Citizens I've seen that kind of love that doesn't make sense to the world, and in it the heart of Christ."
+ Tony's Story
"What does Citizens means to me? It's helping me become a greater individual and pointing me in a direction I wouldn't have otherwise been headed: heaven. I'm focusing on nothing but The Lord. I didn't just want to come to church; I wanted to be part of it - and I am! i wouldn't be the same without Citizens. It's a wonderful family to be a part of. I'm so glad that I'm here."
+ Athalia's Story
When I first came to Citizens, I was worried that this was going to be another church I had to be my best polished self. There was one night where we all shared our stories & I remember thinking to myself, “Just let them know the good parts, no one wants to be burdened with your family of origin/childhood trauma story.” So, I shared only bits and pieces of my story. But as I finished my story, I remember looking at CJ & Renee and having them both tell me, “It seems like there’s something still there. When you are ready to share it, we are here with open arms, sister.”
Months at Citizens went by and I finally felt some courage to share the depths of my story. As I finished sharing this story over dinner with CJ & Renee, they came over and hugged me & were so sad & grieved, but reminded me of the hope we have in Jesus. That He makes all things new & I don’t need to be polished/ put together. This is a church where we can come as ourselves.
This response was so different because in the past the answer would always be, “Oh man, you just need to pray & you’ll be okay!” Later on my Pastors recommended that I see a therapist & that the church would provide for these visits. Going to therapy & working through some emotional health/inventory with my church family, husband, & Jesus has been life changing. I feel loved & safe & always welcomed to come as I am when I’m at Citizens."
+ Anthony's Story
As a native San Franciscan, I am thankful for Citizens because it is a vibrant family that serves the city I call home and loves the people I call my own. San Francisco means something pretty profound to me, as my great grandfather settled here during the early twentieth century as an immigrant laborer. Many decades later, he would furnish humble quarters for his children and grandchildren (my father and aunt) on the edge of Chinatown. Though I never got to meet him, I did follow his footsteps in some poetic way – we both chose to make our living here as young men in our early twenties – albeit a century apart. He did not enjoy many of the benefits I do now, as a relatively hidden member of a historically ostracized community (Chinese Exclusion Act, 1882 – 1943). I am moved by Citizens' commitment to be family to the those who are less-resourced and living on the margins. Though the pursuit of equitable opportunity has been part of my heritage, I am consistently challenged by fellow Citizens who graciously demonstrate that there is so much for me to learn in regards to coming alongside the poor.
Citizens has also extended a warm welcome to my nearest and dearest – members of my nuclear family, my closest childhood friends, and even coworkers. I am served and loved in ways inscrutable when Citizens members pursue genuine relationships with these who are closest to me, not only for me but for themselves. I am grateful for a prominent liturgy of 'breaking bread together' outside a church building. It has been a particular joy to witness a coalescence of sorts between my new Citizens family and my old Bay-Area-local family. The one gets to understand new dimensions about me while the other gets to experience Christ at work within a gospel-centric community.