Ministry Resources

The Unlikely Pastor

Author: City Reach

“Lord, I’ll do anything you want me to do, but please do not ask me to be a pastor or a missionary.”

These were the words that Russ Cambria spoke to God several years ago on his way home from work one day. He wasn’t planning on changing careers, but those were the words that came out of his mouth.

Russ was familiar with CITYREACH NETWORK, but wasn’t interested in pastoring a church. Over the course of a few years, God planted seeds in Russ’s heart and grew in him the desire to use his administrative and organizational gifts to plant a church from scratch.

My wife, Jen, and I were happy where we were, but knew that God was about to shake things up.

Life was about to change and we were about to “step out of the boat.” – Pastor Russ Cambria

At first Russ fought this call to ministry, but also knew that God was leading his family in a new direction. Russ tells the story, “I was extremely happy that CityReach was requiring me to undergo various assessments designed to determine one’s fit for the work ahead. I sat down to take each survey certain the results would come back and CityReach would thank me for my interest and then hit the ‘DENY’ button. I think I was counting on this, to be honest. At least I could say that I tried, but it just wasn’t a fit. I could return to my daily life and routine feeling fine.”

But God had a different plan. CityReach approved Russ’s application and together they moved forward in the process of planting a church in East Las Vegas. Meanwhile, God was putting together the team that would help with the launch of the church. Russ and his family moved to Las Vegas, along with several other families who have joined their team.

CityReach Church Las Vegas East

Church planting comes with a lot of uncertainties and new journeys. But, Russ says, God provides the security he needs.

I know that God has been working on this plan longer than I’ve been included in it. I know that this church is His and I know that He cares for it much more than any human leader could. Knowing this, it is easier to trust Him in times when there is doubt and uncertainty. God never loses. – Pastor Russ Cambria

Previously, Russ served as the Director of two Teen Challenge programs and as the Registrar for the University of Valley Forge. His experience working with people in recovery and his organizational and administrative skills have set him up for his ministry as a pastor, giving lost people the opportunity to experience a real God through a message He has specifically for them.

I remember the moment that God called me to be an instrument to reach the lost and show them who Jesus is. Las Vegas has always been a part of that calling because the burden that I had for a city in which I’ve never lived was unmistakable. I can only explain it as a divine call to a reach a specific people; the people of Sin City. I am thankful we are in a season of our lives where He has chosen my family and our team to reach Las Vegas. – Pastor Russ Cambria

CityReach Church Las Vegas East officially launches on September 18, 2016, along with 27 other CityReach church plants. However, the Cambrias and their dedicated team have already seen lives changed through their preview services, block parties, and homeless outreaches.

CityReach Church Las Vegas East

I have learned that God will use unlikely people and those people are not always previously addicted, members of gangs, or homeless. Unlikely people represent you and me. God has used me and many other CityReach planters to show that we are not in charge of Kingdom outcomes: God is. – Pastor Russ Cambria


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