May 27, 2023

My Child Isn’t a Grace Kid Anymore…Now What?

Home » Blog » Grace K!DS » My Child Isn’t a Grace Kid Anymore…Now What?
by Katie Rapp

I know what you’re thinking…how on earth is your baby all grown up, entering the tween years, and preparing for junior high in the near future?!

It seems surreal, but we’re officially here. Your child will soon begin the process of transitioning from the structured familiarity of the Grace Kids family and into the exciting, curious, freedom of the G56 program.

The good news?

I’m here to welcome you in and detail a few things that you both can expect! 

First off, I’ll start off by introducing myself: My name is Lauren Sarter, and I’m the Junior High Director of Student Ministries here at Grace Community Church in Lindale.

If I’m not at Chili’s, you can typically find me looking for incredible deals at Dirt Cheap, sitting in my favorite spot at The Foundry coffee shop, or spending time at home watching the same season of Criminal Minds for the millionth time.

I’m incredibly passionate about student ministry because of the role that discipleship has played in my own life. After truly beginning my walk with the Lord in high school, my hope is to help students understand the life-changing power of God’s word. 

After moving to East Texas to work for Sky Ranch Christian Camps in 2016, I began attending church at Grace and became a member shortly after. I started serving with GSM students in 2017, and during that time, the Lord radically changed my heart towards working in ministry.

My sole desire in serving students is to allow them to see the ways that God is uniquely equipping each of them to build the Kingdom through relationships, just like Christ did. I believe wholeheartedly that obedience is a worthy & refining process that becomes even more possible in the context of community, like G56 and GSM. 

The focus of the G56 program is to foster relationships with God and each other in the context of the local church body.

My hope for this program is to make every 5th & 6th-grade student feel known, loved, and encouraged in who Christ made them to be. While developing their growing faith, I aim to foster an environment where curiosity is welcome and students are guided through scripture by trusted adults to find the answers to the questions they possess.

G56 is FUN and full of opportunities to make long-lasting memories both for children independently and together as a family unit. 

On a typical Sunday morning, students get a chance to execute their newfound independence by heading into the brand new building on campus, where they can engage in a time of fellowship.

Whether it’s playing a round of ping pong, shooting hoops outside, playing video games, or simply lounging inside on the bean bag, students are sure to build relationships and earn some bragging rights in the process! After some good quality time together, students and small group leaders gather around for a time of teaching and small groups. 

In the G56 program, we’re utilizing The New City Catechism curriculum to guide us through our understanding of God as we grow in the knowledge of who He is. TNCC is a modern-day resource aimed at helping children and adults alike learn the core doctrines of the Christian faith via 52 questions and answers.

Each Sunday morning, we spend time focusing on what scripture says, how that shapes what we believe, and how that belief changes the way we interact with the world around us. After the group lesson, students transition into a time of small groups to dive deeper into that week’s question and discuss their thoughts together.

As we end our time together, students close out the morning by playing a few more rounds of air hockey, sand volleyball, and more! 

One of the main priorities within the life map of the Grace Student Ministries is to capitalize on the familial bond that is still a foundational part of a middle schooler’s life. As 5th and 6th students still rely on the parents for care, support, guidance, and structure, my hope is to demonstrate the importance of family as the main point of discipleship.

While reminding students of the incredibly important role that family plays, we get to incorporate parents and siblings into the process of spiritual growth in G56. We do this by coordinating family trips, events, and experiences throughout the year! 

As your child becomes part of the G56 family, my hope is that they begin to grow and take ownership of their walk with Christ.

I also hope that their independence allows them the chance to become incredible listeners, thinkers, and engagers within the church. I feel so excited and honored to be the person to shepherd your student along their faith journey and can’t wait to make their experience in G56 as incredible as possible!

Looking for a community or someone to grab coffee with who is in a similar life season? We’d love to connect with you and get to know you better! Below you will find a few people that can’t wait to meet you, shoot us an email so we can make a plan!

Tyler OJ Campus

Teresa Ator: teresaa@gcc.org

Bethanie Tayler: bethaniet@gcc.org

Tyler UB Campus

Max Heller: maxh@gcc.org

Chrisleigh Heller: chrisleighh@gcc.org

Lindale Campus

Molly Pontius: mollyp@gcc.org

Debra Kirby: debra@gcc.org


Lauren Sarter is the Junior High Director of the Grace Community Church Lindale Campus.  She has lived in the Lindale area for 5 years but is originally from Plano, TX.  Her favorite pastimes include thrift shopping, hanging out at her favorite coffee shop where she won’t be drinking coffee, road trips, and eating Thai food.