Ignite Your Purpose: Sparklight Ministry – Capturing Young Hearts for Jesus

Nothing brings more comfort and assurance to parents than knowing their kids are in good hands. That safe space is what Sparklight ministry provides for children, an area all too familiar for Alina Tiong, a former Sparklighter herself who now serves in Sparklight as Children’s Manager. 

Capturing Young Hearts for Jesus 

“What defines us are the relationships that our Sparklight staff build with the children,” Alina states, “That can’t be replicated.” 

The Sparklight team achieves this through several ways – by engaging children in voluntary service and fun activities and learning new ways to connect and impart the truth of the Gospel to them. Nurturing a relational spirit prepares children’s hearts to receive God’s love, and Alina recognises this wholeheartedly. “Children need to be heard and feel accepted before they can trust in what you say.” 

Constant Renewal in a Changing Environment 

Running a children’s ministry requires constant care. Minds and hearts of this age are easily influenced by what goes on around them. The way the Sparklight team manages children under their care doesn’t just conclude with teaching, but it starts by having a teachable heart. “As teachers, we must first be teachable in our spirit to be able to connect hearts in the spirit,” she adds.  

Aside from seeking God’s guidance, Sparklight teachers also rely on mutual support and prayers from the wider church community. With the support network, the team is able to constantly find renewed strength and enthusiasm to serve and meet the differing needs of the children and toddlers in their care.

“Children’s ministry alone is not self-sustaining,” Alina expresses, “We need the whole church to believe alongside us and champion the children and youths that they can do great exploits for the Kingdom of God.” 

From her experiences in ministry Alina knows the one relationship that holds together all that her work entails – her connection with the Holy Spirit. “It is the Lord that calls and enables us to do so with much help from the Holy Spirit,” 

Preparing Fields for God to Send the Rain 

Despite challenges at times, serving the Lord comes with its rewards.

“It has been twelve fulfilling years for me in full-time ministry, serving the youth and children,” shares Alina, “I’ve grown dependent on God through my ministry, and I’ve learnt that God is the One who brings the growth.”

“I’ve met my fair share of naughty kids, but they always surprise in many ways. When we are willing to believe that God can change a heart, even when the world labels them as “hopeless” or “bad”, we can become God’s extended hand and heart to reach out to them.

Finding Teachable Moments

For Alina, she desires being present with the children when she can look out for teachable moments, what she sees as “God-appointed time” to have one-on-one time with some of the Sparklighters.

“In these teachable moments, we can impart faith, speak life over them, and pray over them in the Holy Spirit. They can happen before service, during service, along the Sparklight corridor or when we are saying our goodbyes after class,” shares Alina, “When we are willing to listen and avail ourselves, God is more than willing to move.”

An Safe Place to Grow in the Lord 

Through its Touchlight programme, Sparklight’s service extends out to children and adolescents with special needs. With a new weekly class commencing in June, the new arrangement aims to provide more routine-based learning as well as more stability and a sense of security for the children.  

The current ongoing Touchlight class happens once a month on a Saturday.

“Every child is beautiful in the eyes of the Lord because they are made in the likeness of Christ. They may face challenges intellectually or emotionally, but they have a spirit that God can mold and communicate with,” Alina expresses.

“Having the routine of weekly classes are important to help mentally and emotionally prepare the children for learning. They can learn to anticipate better and look forward to coming to church with their families.”

Every Child to be a Light for Jesus

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

Beginning a relationship with Jesus can begin at any age, even as young as a preschooler. Find out more on what Sparklight has to offer by visiting https://lighthouse.org.sg/ministries/children/ or speak to any of our Sparklight teachers on Sunday services.

This article is part of Lighthouse Evangelism’s Ministry Spotlight series.
By Kenneth Li