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Summary: This is the second in a three part series we used fro recruiting adults to serve in our children’s ministry

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Introduction: USA TODAY recently gave the cost for rearing a child from birth to 18 years of age. The cost is $234,000; the breakdown is quite amazing;

$89,000 for food

$55,000 for clothing add $15,000 if it is a girl

$35,000 for medical cost including over the counter medicine

$29,000 for education – prior to college

$26,000 for entertainment, parties and gifts

Yet with the cost at 234,000 – people continue to have children – in fact, one of the busiest places in the hospital is the maternity ward.

WHY?

Each child is full of potential – Walt Disney said, “Children are our nations #1 natural resource.”

Children bring joy to our heart and home, just ask any grandparent

Children remind us we have a future and there is someone to whom we will pass on our traditions and memories.

Therefore, we look at $234,000, and say children are worth the cost – for the blessings of children far outweigh the cost they incur.

If your children are with you this morning turn to them and tell them “You are worth the cost” If your children are not with you today, when you get home call them up tell them “They were worth the cost” Then hang up and wait for them to call back!

Counting the cost

Jesus himself spoke of counting the cost and it was always in connection with ministry. In three of the four gospels, he calls his followers to Count the Cost to be a part of his mission and ministry.

During the month of July, we have looked at the theme of answering the call concerning our children and student ministries. Next Sunday we will be asking for a commitment from people to step up and serve in this vital area. But before we ask for a commitment – I want to talk to you about counting the cost.

Understand we are not asking you to fill a spot or to do a job we are asking you to make an investment in the lives of children. For that to happen, you must be willing to count the cost.

To count the cost means we have some good news and some bad news – the good news when it comes to counting the cost is it will not cost you $234,000 to work in our children’s ministry. The bad news is to count the cost we must be willing to pay a price. While it is not $234,000, it is costly.

Jesus explains the cost in Luke 9:23-27

23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

27 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God."

Three price tags must be paid if we are going to Count the Cost

Price Tag #1, Jesus calls us to deny oneself

Biblical Scholar, F.F. Bruce calls this one of the most difficult statements in all of scripture

To deny oneself and take up ones cross daily

Conjures up images of monasteries and vows of poverty – it carries the idea of doing without and having a life with very little freedom or fun.

We find it difficult to diet – to go without certain types of food, let alone denying ourselves for Christ’s sake.

What makes it more difficult is the root meaning of the word – To Deny, To Forget we exist

Jesus is teaching his followers the concept of self-sacrifice. Self-sacrifice is the key to ministry. We understand the concept of self-sacrifice in many areas of life.

In marriages, we realize we must die to self so that two can become one.

In parenting, we sacrifice our wants so our children can have a good education and better opportunities then what we had growing up.

Parents sacrifice daily when they stay up all night with a sick child or stay up late slaving over homework they hardly understand.

If we understand self-sacrifice in marriage and in parenting, then we should understand self-sacrifice in ministry as well.

Jesus said if you are going to be a Christ follower, if you are going to be a part of my mission and my ministry you must be willing to pay the price to count the cost.

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