New to the City – Dan Birch

We are continuing our “New to the City” series with communications intern, Dan Birch. Read about Dan’s first couple months in the city.


The last couple months has been crazy to say the least.  It’s been so exciting to begin planting Redemption San Francisco but at the same time been a learning and growing experience in my own life. I have been challenged in my relationship with Lord and with the idea of what it practically looks like to live missionally for Jesus in my community.

Reflecting on my experiences so far in San Francisco, these were the ideas that I have grasped the most in the early stages of planting the church.


When you move to one of the most expensive cities in the country you realize that getting there is no small task.  You also realize that people who actually live in San Francisco have a story behind getting their place because of the extreme high demand.

In casual conversations with people you can feel a sense of bonding when telling each other stories and mutually appreciating that every move matters.

As a believer it’s been an area of gratitude in my relationship with the Lord. It took me over a month of looking at places and constantly applying before God lead me to my apartment.  And I have heard from so many other christians a similar story of intensely feeling God’s provision before even actually living in San Francisco.


I had been looking forward to living missional in the city for quite some time but had not prepared for the unpredictable nature of actually living that out.  Not to give any glory to myself but I think the unpredictability of living missional for Jesus was never more evident than in my first whole week living in San Francisco.

My first week in the city started with praying for two movers that unloaded my stuff, later that week I got into an interesting conversation with a passionate atheist while playing pickup basketball, and ended the week outside a grocery store praying with a homeless man who shared with me his powerful ministry and belief in Jesus.

I would love to say I sought out these people and experiences out as a missionary for Christ but in reality these gospel conversations were very unexpected in the moment.

All that to say, I am really taking to heart Apostles Paul words to Timothy

Preach the word; always be ready, in season and out of season.”  2 Tim 4:2

Sometimes missional living for Christ is very intentional from my perspective but other times God will bring opportunities and experiences at any given time and I have to be ready.


In a city statistically 65% single and unmarried you can only imagine the amount of social activities happening at any given time.  My first week I said yes to everything and undertook a pace that even as an extrovert was exhausting.

I felt like I had to go to everything but quickly learned for the long haul I had to set boundaries with others and with myself because only God is everywhere.

When social events and invitations come up it’s been an opportunity to trust in God’s sovereignty and pray the Lord would give wisdom and discernment on where to direct my energy.

All in all, it’s been a great adventure getting to San Francisco. The Lord has been very active in faithfully getting me to the city and I pray I will continue to experience his presence throughout the whole of planting Redemption San Francisco.