"Jesus meets us right where we are, as we are," said Sparks, a Christian evangelical, on her Facebook page this evening, followed by the following concept at the last service of the night: "God does his best work when we are broken, because He puts the puzzle back together in only the way He can."
Sparks, 27, joined Senior Pastor Miles McPherson to share her testimony and what salvation has meant to her in life and career. She helped lead three worship services, speaking at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. PST at Rock Church. She shared how Jesus saved her.
McPherson, the former NFL player and San Diego Chargers' defensive back who leads Rock Church, shared a video on social media of his friend Sparks prior to the services. He on Feb. 12 said on Saturday that God told him to tell everyone else "not to pray, but to fight on the spiritual realm or level, for yourself, family and country."
"Sharing testimony is challenging and nerve-wracking," Sparks told attendees Sunday evening. "Sharing your story is easy, but sharing a testament is intimate. I think I grew more today in these services than in the last six months."
She said she was in awe of how far music can reach. "But singing is a God-given gift, and when I step away from remembering that, that's when things get hard."
She said during American Idol, her personal life was in shambles, due to sickness and deaths in her family. "God was not the center of my life, as He should have been. I wasn't thinking about whether if what I was doing was what He wanted. I put goals before Him."
Sparks said she had faith and prayed at the time, but still wasn't truly focused on God.
Until last Easter, when her aunt, uncle and cousin asked her to join them at church, she heard the resurrection story, and it struck her in a new way. She told the Rock Church congregants that at that Easter church service she suddenly knew it was "never too late to come home." She realized the confusion, sadness and emotion weight she'd been feeling was lifted when she joined the alter call, and that instead she felt hugged. Since then, she said she starts each day reading Bible verses and praying.
For the last step of the service, she sang the song "Spirit Move," as well as a bonus song "I Surrender All."
Sparks, who hails from Phoenix, Ariz., said she accepted Jesus Christ when she was 4 years old. She was 7 years old when she knew she loved to sing. By 11 years old, she was singing at her local church. She and her brother got baptized on Halloween night when she was 13. She appeared on "America's Most Talented Kids" at 14, and was touring with contemporary Christian megastar Michael Smith as his background singer a year later. She now lives in Los Angeles.
During Sparks' American Idol days, she was very vocal about her faith, saying, "I definitely recognize that I have a God-given talent. I have a sense of inner peace, I know God gave me this wonderful voice and I feel that what he needs me to do is share it with others."
According to Outreach Magazine, the Rock consistently has been one of the nation's fastest growing and largest churches, with more than 15,000 people attending one of the Rock's four Sunday services across five campuses, in addition to the services that are experienced through online streaming, microsites, radio and TV.
Sparks is not the only celebrity to visit this megachurch to share testimony. In 2015, a video of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson went viral after he visited the church to share his story.