After graduating from Kuyper and spending 14 years working in youth ministry, Justin Christensen, class of 2011, sensed God was beginning to lead him elsewhere.
“I never thought I would not be in ministry, but God had some other plans for my life,” he recalled. The transition was not easy. “When you place your identity in your calling, and that calling ends, it’s hard,” he said.
Leaning into his identity in Christ and listening for God’s direction in his life helped him to begin to feel a sense of clarity. “I realized that I loved meeting with people, figuring out their talents and abilities, and plugging them into new opportunities,” he said. “That’s how I decided to become a recruiter.” Through a friend, Justin found a job at Harrison Gray Search & Consulting, a Grand Rapids firm.
It felt right from the very beginning, and he has been able to forge meaningful relationships with his clients and coworkers. “I’ve been able to have the kinds of deep spiritual conversations you can only have when you’ve earned someone’s trust,” he said.
Justin believes God is already using him to positively impact the lives of others. He shared the story of a young man who came to him with a two-year gap in his employment history.
“Normally, when you see gaps like that, it’s a bad thing. Come to find out, it was because he’d been battling cancer,” he recalled. Justin both helped the young man feel empowered and met his very real need for employment. “He went from battling cancer to landing his dream job. I was just glad I got to be a part of that,” Justin said.
Justin knows his time at Kuyper gave him the knowledge and skills to thrive in this new career. “Everything I learned at Kuyper is so relevant to what I’m doing in recruiting. I’m building relationships, and I’m working hard,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade my 14 years in ministry or my four years at Kuyper as a student-athlete for anything. I know that both prepared me for this brand-new world.”