2023 Year in Review

financial overview

In 2023, we recognized the vision God had given us to be a church “rooted in place.” Like trees, we need to be planted in order to bear fruit, and from that place, we would be able to build new things and rebuild others. In this Year in Review, we share some of the ways we pursued “rootedness” together, as well as the fruit that grew through the grace of God.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

Isaiah 61:3-4

What We Started to Build

Sharing the Good News

This year, we recognized a strong need to develop spaces for evangelism in our church. This was a new initiative for us, but as a part of Jesus’ call to proclaim the good news of the Gospel, we knew it was an important step of maturity for us to take.

In September, we launched Alpha, which is a series of conversations designed for those who are curious about the Christian faith. Over 100 people attended over the course of nine weeks, including a weekend away. We saw people come to faith in Jesus, as well as beautiful relationships and community develop between our Alpha volunteers and those seeking to learn more about Jesus.

Additionally, we recognized a need for more “neutral spaces” outside our church walls for us to gather with others in the city. In December, we hosted our first event like this – Carols & Beer. Over 300 people joined us to spread Christmas cheer and enjoy a night of festive celebration!

Pastoral Residency

In addition to our need to be rooted, we also recognize the importance of sending out seeds for the purpose of new growth. Therefore, in the beginning of 2023, we expanded our commitment to church planting through the development of a pastoral residency program. This program seeks to invest in church planting and revitalization, not just through finances, but through the development of church leaders. In January 2023, we brought on Sergio Gomes as our first Pastoral Resident. Sergio will serve with us for 2-3 years until the Lord calls him to plant or revitalize a new church home.

A Deeper Culture of Prayer

Prayer has been central to our church, even from the earliest days before our first Sunday services. In 2023, we hoped to build a deeper culture of prayer in our community.

We hosted two prayer and worship nights, centered solely around the purposes of communal and corporate prayer. We also hosted our very first conference, Encountering God, with Pete Hughes and over 720 attendees – including elementary and preschool kids!

What We Began to Rebuild

1325 Valencia Street

Since moving into our permanent church home in the summer of 2021, we have acknowledged the strong need to rebuild and upgrade many features of our building. This year, we determined that these needs included access, beauty, and capacity.

To start, we installed more seating in our balcony, increasing our Sanctuary capacity by over 150 seats and making room for more people as we continue to grow. We also made upgrades to our Bethel Room in a desire for a more beautiful and hospitable space to worship and gather together.

Rooted in Our Neighborhood

Out of our efforts to be rooted, we have been blessed with new partnerships, deeper relationships, and more opportunities to bless our neighbors in the Mission.

Our Food Pantry grew from serving 65 households in 2021 to 195 by the end of 2023. On Saturdays, our volunteers organize coffee and tea for our neighbors, creating a chance to establish a deeper connection with the individuals we are serving.

This year, we also hosted three Senior Summer Brunches for older folks from both our church and our neighborhood, resulting in beautiful stories of new friendships, love, and prayer.

In 2023, we were blessed by a new partnership with our neighbors across the street at Buena Vista Horace Mann School. As a place in the community that is already doing amazing work and serving our neighbors in many practical ways, we feel privileged to come alongside them through their before and after school programs, tutoring, and more.

The Year at a Glance

1,370 Attendees Worshiped with Us Every Sunday in Person & Online

22 Members of our Community were Baptized

Over 700 People from our Church & Neighborhood Attended our Harvest Festival

220 Newcomers Joined Welcome to Reality

87 Kids Learned & Played at Vacation Bible School

More than 580 Congregants Practiced in Community Groups

424 New Volunteers Stepped into Serving

2,492 People Celebrated Easter with Us in Person & Online

38 Children were Dedicated to the Lord

Sharing Our Resources

2023 Financial Overview

Amidst the challenges and uncertainty of this past year, both in our city and world, our church continues to be a community committed to radical generosity! We are honored and blessed by the sacrificial giving of our church and, in turn, we have been able to pour out into our neighborhood and city.

In 2023, our cumulative contributions for missions, Justice & Outreach, benevolence, and church planting exceeded $7M since the beginning of our church. This year alone, we provided $700K towards these endeavors, equating to 13% of our total 2023 giving.

At AVP, we asked for our congregation to help us as we continue to rebuild. As a result, forty exceptionally talented congregants have committed to serving on committees in finance, organizational health, architecture, and more. These committees have faithfully provided guidance and recommendations to our elders, board, and executive leadership team regarding the allocation of initiative funds, including the $440K we raised during our 2023 Year-End Initiative to be distributed according to ministry needs and strategic impact.

Thank you church for demonstrating your dedication to Reality’s mission and vision through your financial support. Through the Lord’s provision and your faithful generosity, we can establish the groundwork for new initiatives and expand our efforts and partnerships within our neighborhood and across the city. We are expectant for the ways in which the Lord will continue to use this community to bring His kingdom to San Francisco, as it is in heaven.

2023 Giving: $6,011,693

Personnel Expenses: -$3,157,868
Facilities & Operating Expenses: -$871,619
Ministry Expenses: -$949,166
Justice & Outreach, Benevolence, & Church Planting: -$701,420

Personnel Expenses include, but are not limited to: wages, salaries, and payroll taxes for all staff and benefits.
Facilities & Operating Expenses include, but are not limited to: mortgage, building and property maintenance, utilities, insurance, office equipment, supplies, and more.
Ministry Expenses include, but are not limited to: Children’s, Youth, Premarital, Music, Courses, Community, Events, and more.
Justice & Outreach, Benevolence, & Church Planting: 13% of every dollar supported local and global justice work, provision for those in need, and church planting efforts.

Reserves: +$331,620

*This surplus will be reserved for future ministry development including, but not limited to: expanding Alpha, Church Planting residency, facility upgrades and improvements, mortgage pay-down, and new ministry initiatives.

Mortgage Balance: $12,066,414

1st Mortgage Cass Bank: $9,115,983
2nd Mortgage Northgate: $2M
3rd Mortgage Sand Hill Foundation: $950,431

2024 Board-Approved Budget: $5.8M

Reality SF is a certified member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). ECFA certification is based on Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance, and ethical fundraising. When an organization is certified by ECFA, it demonstrates its willingness to follow the model of biblical accountability. View our ECFA press release.

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To learn more about our ECFA certification, 2021 CPA-audited financial statements, and our approach to generosity and financial accountability, please visit our giving page.

If you have any other questions, please email give@realitysf.com.