Our Youth Pastor

Meet Our Youth Pastor

Meet Our New Youth Pastor

We are proud to welcome Tyler Kopp to the Harrisburg United Methodist Church family! He is HUMC’s first full-time Youth Minister, which is a calling Tyler has heard since high school.

Tyler grew up in Mankato, MN, and started his faith walk in middle school confirmation classes. As a three-sport athlete he joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where he really started diving into the Bible and leading discussions. But, in the summer transition to high school he noticed the Holy Spirit taking a stronger presence in his life. That summer he attended a Young Life Summer Camp where a camp counselor—and soon to be mentor—looked him in the eye and asked him one simple question: Do you want to be a disciple of Jesus?

Tyler said yes.

“I was just excited that he wanted to have dinner with me once a week where I could learn about love and grace and Jesus. I grew in love and grew in grace. It really changed who I was.”
Reid continued to mentor Tyler throughout high school, but as those four years came to a close Tyler struggled with the anxiety of what the future held. God was watching over him and gave Tyler two words that would become a life lesson—and his life theme: Be still. (Exodus 14:14)
Engrained on his arm, Tyler carried those words with him to the University of Sioux Falls where he initially declared a Criminal Justice major.

“I declared that kind of blindly during orientation,” Tyler said. “I was going between that and Youth Ministry. After moving in, God did something that reaffirmed things for me.”
It was the first week of school, and they were headed to Chapel where USF was to announce the ministry theme for the year. God spoke to him, again. The theme that year was the two words with which Tyler was most familiar: Be still.

“Seeing that was the ministry theme was God’s affirmation for me. I was supposed to be at this school and be in ministry.”

Tyler wanted to give to others what his mentors and professors gave to him through Jesus. During college he worked in two Sioux Falls area churches. Falling in love with the area, Tyler realized he wanted to stay.

“I love what is happening here with the youth and the Youth Ministry scene.”
Searching for jobs to continue his path in the area, Tyler saw the HUMC job posting through the Sioux Falls Seminary website and found a new church home for himself and his newlywed wife, Andrea. They were married on May 30, 2020.

As the first full-time Youth Minister at HUMC, Tyler is excited to build disciples in our teens but also their families. Defining the role(s) of a Youth Minister can be difficult, but he said the most important role is to be a bridge for families in the church.

“[Youth ministers] give families the context for spiritual growth in their homes,” Tyler said. “I want families to feel a part of the Youth Ministry.”

Tyler’s main focus is encouraging students to be disciples of Jesus. He aspires to implement a program for mentors and meetings to help achieve this goal. He also said students can plan to have a lot of fun, because that’s one of the expectations of a Youth Pastor.

As the Church slowly reopens to activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, the return of Youth Group meetings continues to be discussed. However, Tyler said he definitely wants to get to know students throughout the summer. He can be reached at tylerjonkopp@gmail.com. Feel free to say hello and welcome him to HUMC!

“I’m excited to be a part of the church family. It’s important for Andrea and me to be a part of this church family, and we just want to be approachable and start a conversation. We’re looking forward to having a church home.”
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