From a young age, PJ Tiemeyer knew he wanted to work in youth ministry.
Tiemeyer began coaching hockey and volunteering in his church’s youth group after high school and loved connecting with younger kids. “I was that kid who didn’t want to let go of youth group,” Tiemeyer said with a laugh.
Tiemeyer’s official journey into youth group leadership began a few years later, and he shared his story with the Kuyper community on February 2 as part of Ora Et Labora, a weekly time where speakers come to campus to talk about their work and how their faith impacts that work.
“My pastor challenged me to take the next step and start leading devotions,” Tiemeyer said. He spent the next few years engaging in bivocational ministry. “I had a really good job with UPS right out of high school, and I worked part-time youth ministry jobs as well,” he said.
Though the pay and benefits associated with Tiemeyer’s full-time job became important as he married and started a family, he felt pulled toward a more meaningful career. “I worked for UPS for 24 years, but I always believed God was leading me on a path to full-time youth ministry,” he said.
Six years ago, Tiemeyer thought he was on that path. When the head youth pastor at his church left, it seemed Tiemeyer was his natural replacement. “In the end, the church decided to hire someone else,” he said. This rejection was a painful blow for Tiemeyer, but he continued to trust in God’s plan for his life.
Last year, Tiemeyer finally got the opportunity he waited so long for. “One of my former hockey players had become a pastor, and he reached out saying his church was looking for a new, full-time youth pastor,” he said.
Today, Tiemeyer is grateful to finally be following his calling. “It’s been very exciting, and it certainly feels affirmed by God,” Tiemeyer said.