Counting the Cost
Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids that Jesus needs to be the most important thing in their lives.
Needed: Bibles, different sizes of containers filled with candy, empty reserve containers, paper and writing utensils, Bible trivia questions, Legos or building blocks of some sort
Note: The following three games work in a series. You’ll use the same materials for each.
Intro Game #1: Guess How Many? – Before class, fill up three or more different sizes of containers with three or more different types of candy. Each container will hold its own type of candy. Count how many pieces are in each container. Then, hand each student a piece of paper and a writing utensil for them to write down how many pieces they think are in each container.
See whose guess is the closest on each of the containers.
Intro Game #2 – Will it Fit? – Using the same containers as you used in the first game (or fill a variety of containers with water if you decide the skip first game) and pull out a number of empty containers. Again, they should all be different shapes and sizes.
For each full container, have students write down what empty containers the contents will fit into. For instance, if you have three full containers and three empty containers, have them write down whether they think Full Container 1 will fit into Empty Container 1, Empty Container 2, and Empty Container 3. They can answer yes or no for each empty container.
Then, pour the contents of each full container into each empty container to demonstrate whether the contents fit.
See which students guess correctly.
Intro Game #3: Love and Hate – Using the candy and the containers from the previous two games, have each child come up and answer a question based on the Bible. They should be fairly easy trivia or review questions for your students to answer.
If the student answers correctly, let them choose two types of candy. When they don’t choose one of the types, ask if they hate the type they didn’t choose. If they answer no, clarify that they don’t hate it but that they like the type or types they did choose better.
If the student answers incorrectly, let them choose one type of candy for trying. Again, point out that they must like one type of candy over the others for them to make their selection.
Play until all students have had a chance to answer a question and make their candy selection. You can keep the rest of the candy in your containers for future weeks.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and to give their answers to the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
(Read Luke 14:25-26.)
“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be My disciple.”
Jesus said that if we want to be His disciple, or His follower, then we have to hate our parents and our family. But does Jesus really want us to hate our parents and our families? (No.)
When Jesus says He wants us to hate our families, He’s just saying that we shouldn’t put them first in our lives.
Jesus wants us to love our parents and our families, but He wants us to understand that we have to love Him more. Jesus is God, so if we want to be Jesus’ follower, we have to love Him more than anything, even more than our own parents. You even have to love Jesus more than you love yourself and your life. Jesus has to be the most important thing to you.
It’s not that you hate anyone; it’s just that you prefer Jesus more.
(Read Luke 14:27-33.)
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be My disciples.”
(Pass out nine building blocks to each student and tell them to build a tower that is 10 blocks high using only their blocks. Don’t tell them you’re only giving them nine blocks.)
How many blocks do you have in your tower?
You only have nine blocks in your tower, but I told you to make a tower that was 10 blocks high. Didn’t you know you should count your blocks first to know whether you had 10 blocks to use or not?
Jesus said being a Christian is kind of like building a tower. When you build a tower, you have to make sure you have enough to be able to finish it so that it reaches all the way to the sky. And when you say you want to believe in Jesus and be His follower, you have to make sure that you’re ready to believe in Jesus not just right now but for your whole life, so that you can go to Heaven when you die.
Do you think you’re ready to follow Jesus for your whole life?
Closing Prayer: Jesus, we know that following You is a big commitment. We pray that You’ll help us to follow You for our whole lives and always to make You the most important thing in our lives.
Recommended ExtraCounting the Cost – free object lesson, along with free coloring and activity pages
This lesson is included in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus: Volume 1.
Find more resources on my Free Children's Sunday School Lessons page!