Counting the Cost


The cost of discipleship.




Luke 14:25-33

Children's Sermon: Counting the Cost (Luke 14:25-33)

What are some things you’ve paid for with your own money?  (Pause.) There was a cost so you could have that thing. Let’s think about “cost.” 

For instance, how much would you be willing to pay from your own money for an ice cream cone? (Pause.) How about if you wanted a [toy that’s popular with your kids] and your parents said you had to spend your own money—could you pay the cost of [name estimated cost]? 

Cost doesn’t always have to do with money. If you wanted to learn to play piano, you’d have to pay money to get a piano to practice on, and you’d have to give up playing with friends to go to lessons and to practice every day. Or if you wanted to play a sport, you might need to buy equipment, give up free time to go to practices, and you’d have to work hard to get good at it. 

To think about cost more, let’s really break down the costs of something that could be wonderful, but we’d really need to consider the cost of before we do it. Let’s say you really wanted a pet. (Lead kids in choosing a pet they’d like to consider the costs for.)

The first cost for getting a pet would be to pay money for it. (Give an estimated cost for the pet kids chose.) Would you be willing to give up that much of your money or do chores to earn all that money? (Pause, and then lead kids in naming all the other “costs” they can think of. For example, if they want a puppy, they’d have to buy food and treats, along with many other supplies, such as a collar, and they’d even need to pay to register the dog in their county. They would have to potty train it and clean up its accidents. They’d need to take it for walks every day, even when it’s really hot or really cold outside. They’d need to clean up after it on walks, brush its fur, or use their own money to take the puppy to the vet when it gets sick.)

Owning a pet we love can be wonderful, but it comes at a cost of money, time, effort, and sometimes even sacrificing what we want to make sure the dog is safe and cared for.

In the Bible, Jesus talked about something exponentially more wonderful and amazing that also has a cost. Jesus told His friends, the disciples, that if they wanted to follow Him, they’d need to think about the cost (Luke 14:25-33). But before we think about the cost, let’s start with the reasons someone would want to be Jesus’ disciple.

  • What do you think would be wonderful about being Jesus’ follower?

Being Jesus’ follower is an important and special job, but Jesus said there’s also a cost to think about. He said His disciples would have to make Him most important in their lives, even more important than family and friends. He also said people might make fun of them or hurt them for being His followers. Being a follower of Jesus is not always easy, but it’s always the very best thing we can choose for ourselves. He just wants us to know there’s a cost to living a life as Jesus’ follower, and that’s taking up our crosses.

God, it’s easy to say that we want to follow Jesus, but it isn't always easy to do. Help us to follow Him, whatever the cost. In Jesus’ name, amen.