The Wise and Foolish Builders
Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how to be like the man who built his house on the rock.
Needed: Bibles, a pan, a cup of water, a large rock, some sand, two toy houses (I used Monopoly houses), trays of sand, trays of rocks, playing cards, a die
Lesson: Place the rock and a pile of sand in the pan with a house on top of each. Show the students the cup of water and ask them what they think will happen if you poured water into the pan.
Pour the water around the base of the rock and the sand. The sand will dissipate, causing the house to fall, but the rock should be heavy enough to stay where it is.
(Read Matthew 7:24-29.)
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
“When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.”
What are we like if do what Jesus says? (Jesus said that anyone who follows His teaching is like a wise person building their house on the rock.)
Why do we want to build our house, or our life, on the rock? (Rock is solid. It won’t move.)
What do you think Jesus meant about the rain and the wind that beats against our house? What are the rain and the wind that can destroy us if we’re not following Jesus’ teachings?
The wind and the rain that Jesus was talking about could be temptations or hard times in life.
If we have built our house, or our life, on the rock of Jesus’ teachings, what will happen to us when we are tempted or when we have hard times? Will we give in to temptation? Will we give up? Or will we stay strong?
We’ll stay strong because we are on the rock. Our faith is strong in Jesus.
But what if we’re like the foolish person who built their house, or life, on the sand, not Jesus’ teachings? Then, what will happen when we are tempted or have hard times?
We’ll give in and give up because we don’t have Jesus. Our life will fall apart like a house crashing down.
Game: Sand vs. Stone – Give each student a tray full of sand and a tray full of rocks. Then, give each student 10 playing cards to build two card houses out of. They’ll use five cards to build a house on the sand and five cards to build a house on the rocks.
When they’re finished, have them gently blow on the side of each house. If either one of their houses stand, give them a point. You can have many winners in this game.
Game: What are You Building Your House On? – Students take turns rolling a die, or you can give them all a die and let them roll simultaneously. Each student will roll 10 times, earning or losing points based on the following die rolls.
As students roll, announce the following:
On a 1, they built their house on the sand and lose 2 points.
On a 2, they built their house on the rock and earn 2 points.
On a 3, they built their house on the sand and the rain washed it away. They lose 1 point.
On a 4, they built their house on the sand and the wind blew it down. They lose 1 point.
On a 5, they built their house on the rock and the rain couldn’t wash it away. They earn 1 point.
On a 6, they built their house on the rock and the wind couldn’t blow it down. They earn 1 point.
Remind students that the wind and the rain that come at us are temptations and hard times in life. If we’re following Jesus’ teaching, we’ll be able to stand up to those things, like a house built on the rock. If we’re not following Jesus’ teachings, those things will tear us down, like a house built on sand.
Closing Prayer: Jesus, we pray that You’ll help us to follow You so that You can keep us strong against temptation and whatever happens to us in life. Amen.