Grace Kids Vertical Volunteer Molly Hagemeier

Each month through the end of 2020 (and maybe beyond… see what we did there?), we’ll feature a volunteer from our Family Life Ministry (Grace Kids and Grace Students) who continually goes above and beyond for the kids and students within the groups they lead.

In October, we are proudly featuring Molly Hagemeier. Molly serves on the Grace Kids Vertical team as a 5th grade girls small group leader.





Four years ago, my oldest child was starting fifth grade and my second child was playing soccer. That’s when I met Stacie Oligny, GFC’s 5th and 6th grade ministry coordinator, as our daughters played on the same soccer team. I learned that one of her sons was a small group leader for my third child, who was 6 at that time. I remember arriving at soccer games and my 6 year old son whispering in my ear, “Can I go sit by my FRIEND?” He was so excited to sit next to his small group leader, who was a teenager and considered his close friend! He impacted my child’s life simply by being present and welcoming. Fast forward and that little 6 year old boy is as tall as me and starting fifth grade himself. His sweet small group leader is now at college – but not forgotten.

So, when Stacie asked me around that same time if I would consider being a small group leader for Vertical, GFC’s ministry for 5th and 6th graders, it seemed like a great chance for me to serve. I have loved getting to see the girls in my group each week and being part of their lives. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has made recent serving look a little different. Meeting on Zoom in the spring with our group of girls was not ideal, but certainly better than not meeting at all. Getting to hear about how they were feeling, pointing out the good that was also being experienced, reminding each other of God’s faithfulness, and acknowledging the blessings around us proved valuable even when meeting online. In another attempt to stay connected, I sent out notes to the girls telling them I was thinking of them and praying for them. It was sweet to receive their encouraging responses through email or text messages. Some of them continue to check in through sending me an occasional text message even though they have moved on to seventh grade!

The kids that come in, out, and through Vertical are people, just like big, grown-up, and older people. And all people need the saving grace of Jesus. That’s why I keep showing up as a Vertical small group leader. Because I don’t “get it right” in lots of ways in life, but that’s just another demonstration of Jesus’ grace and mercy.

No matter what ministry area, choosing to serve and be transparent about the ups and downs of life while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus – that’s the aim. We don’t have to be perfect for these kids. We just have to be.

Choosing to serve in Vertical means I get to experience that with the fun and energy and optimism of fifth and sixth graders. And let me tell you, they are awesome!

– Molly Hagemeier

As you can tell, Molly’s small group girls love her as much as she loves them. She’s willing, consistent, and caring. All kids need that, from their parents as well as those outside the home that are speaking truth into their lives.



GFC thanks you, Molly, for your willingness to serve and serve well!

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed,
knowing from whom you learned it
 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
                                                                                                          – 2 Timothy 3:14-15

If you would like more information on serving within the Grace Kids (birth-4th grade) or Vertical (5th-6th grade) ministry areas, or within any GFC ministry area, click here, then select a ministry area and complete the online form.