Richard Cimino is one of our main session speakers at the Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors Conference.
Born again: since December 31, 1973
In ministry: since early 1982
Family: I’ve been married to my beautiful wife and best friend, Valerie, for over thirty-eight years. We have four wonderful children: Deborah, who lives with her husband, Wells, and their little boy, Ever Bless, in Brooklyn, NY; Sean, who was just married last January to Erika, they live in LA; Ashley who’s in her last year at Biola University, majoring in graphic design; and our youngest Nathan who just graduated from high school. He has been accepted at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, but is deferring for a year in order to attend CC School of Worship this fall.
Ministry Experience: I was born again almost forty-two years ago and have been in full-time ministry for thirty-three years now.
After our first year of marriage I left teaching and coaching at the high school level to pursue life as a pastor and Bible teacher. My first step into ministry was in the area of music as guitar player and songwriter. Music has been an integral part of my pastoral and missional life. I met Pastor Malcolm Wild, who had just moved from England to California, at the musicians fellowship at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Malcolm played a tremendous part in shaping my life in Christ. Malcolm gave me opportunities to teach Bible studies at the musicians fellowship. Soon I was in a band with Malcolm doing evangelistic outreaches in England.
In 1982 Pastor Chuck Smith invited me to come on staff as the high school pastor at CCCM. As such I learned invaluable lessons as a husband, dad and pastor. By the grace of God I had the privilege of seeing many men raised by to become lead pastors with fruitful lives and churches.
After nearly eight years as the high school pastor, the Lord directed me and my wife, Valerie, to move to Grass Valley, California, to pastor Calvary Chapel Grass Valley (recently renamed Crossroads Community Church). Thirteen years later my wife and I sensed a tremendous burden to start a Bible study in the city of Roseville as an outreach of CC Grass Valley. We called the Monday Night Bible studies Metro Calvary Outreach. Within a year’s time over seventy people were crowding into our home for Bible study and the City of Roseville informed us we had to move into a public meeting place. The Lord opened the door for us to start meeting at the Rocklin Sunset Center within a week. As the Lord continued to add to the church, Metro held its first Sunday service on January 4, 2004 at Rocklin High School.
Today after thirty-three years in pastoral ministry, I am even more amazed at and humbled by the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus than ever before. I am more in love with my wife and children than ever before. I am more passionate about teaching the Bible than ever before. And I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in and through Metro.
What is the greatest ministry lesson the Lord has taught you recently?
The greatest life lesson the Lord has taught me is that we can’t just divide our lives neatly into little boxes labeled Life and Ministry. Life is ministry and ministry is life. A couple of years ago I met a guy who has been very influential in my life. He told me that he asked his brother who is a pastor, “How’s church going?” His brother responded, “Good…but that will change!” That’s life. That’s ministry. All of us desire to move toward good in our marriages, our families and friendships, and our pastoral ministry. The problem is that good is not a static point of destination. Life in Jesus is always good but it is not static.
What is the greatest life lesson the Lord has taught you recently?
The same is true on the horizontal plane of life. Things can go from good to bad in a flash. This past year my wife’s health went from good to bad in what seemed like a moment, and over the course of a few months she had four surgeries on her right eye. Each surgery was followed by twenty-hour days in a face down position for seven to eight days. After all of that, she is still virtually blind in that eye. As I watched the grace that she received from the Lord and the grace that she demonstrated through all of that, I learned a big lesson that stands true in every aspect of life: Why do we suffer? Yet the bigger lesson to me is how do we suffer? Life changed for my wife. Her health went from good to bad. Through all of her suffering Jesus never stopped being her Hero.
What are you looking forward to most at the Things That Matter Conference?
At the Things That Matter Conference I’m looking forward to hearing God speak to my heart about the things that matter to Him so that they will have their rightful place in my life as a man, husband, dad and pastor. And of course, I look forward to spending time with people whose lives matter very much to me.
What topic are you teaching on at the conference?
I am also looking forward to teaching on “Worship: The Ultimate Matter!” taken from 2 Chronicles 28:22-29:36. Our theology of worship is foundational because it informs, defines and directs every aspect of our life and every aspect of our ministry. The lives of Ahaz and Hezekiah give us a radical insight into the realities of worship and idolatry. By way of their lives we discover that worship is not a segment of our life or a department in our ministry—it is central to our existence driving everything else.