If you are in junior high/middle school ministry, you’ve been accused at least once of telling a corny joke, right? Well what about playing a corny game?

Here you go! The game is called “A Corny Race”.

The game includes a lesson on “Being a Growing Follower of Jesus” and is based on Mark 4.

Enjoy the game!

Mike Sheley, Junior High Ministry

Jr High Game: A Corny Race

Topic: Being a Growing Follower of Jesus

Bible: Mark 4:1-20


4 Blindfolds

4 ears of cooked corn-on-the-cob (preferably buttered)

Paper towels

Prize: popcorn, two giant bags from a local theater if possible (sometimes you can get “end of day/shift” popcorn cheap, especially if you let them know it is for a church group)

Optional: Oven mitts, aprons, seed packs (one per student)


Pick out eight students to play in four teams of two. Only one will actually be eating the corn.

Position students next to a table. If they are tall tables so they can stand, that is easiest. But this can also be accomplished with a regular table by having one person sit in a chair and the other kneel behind them.
The partner in front has to put their hands down by their side or you can have fun by putting oven mitts on their hands. If you really want to be nice, you can put aprons on these partners.
The person in back gets blindfolded. Then, help them get in position where they reach around their partner so the person in back’s arms and hands look like they kind of belong to the person in front.
When you have all the partners ready, set an ear of corn on a plate in front of teach team.
When you say “Go!”, the teammate in back will use their hands to feed the teammate in front the ear of corn. The first person to completely eat all of the kernels off their ear or to eat the most in 3 minutes is our winning team!
(Award the winning team the popcorn prize!)


At this point you are either really hungry for some corn-on-the-cob . . . or you are completely disgusted after watching these students try to eat as someone else was feeding them the corn!


How many of you love corn-on-the-cob?
Now, has anyone actually grown corn in a garden? Or grown any plant in a garden?
(If so, allow them to explain what the process is like . . . briefly. If no one volunteers, then go on with the next part.)


When people plant a garden, they don’t just plant one seed. They plant a few seeds hoping that at least one of them will grow into the plant of whichever vegetable they are trying to produce.
In Jesus’ day, many people had not just gardens, but farms, or they worked on one or knew someone who did. So when he told stories, he would use agricultural images because he was explaining truth about the Kingdom of God with examples from everyday life.
In fact, in one of his stories, he talks about this principle of planting seeds and comparing the different results. Check this out.

Read Mark 4:3-8 (The Message) 

“Listen. What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled among the weeds and nothing came of it. Some fell on good earth and came up with a flourish, producing a harvest exceeding his wildest dreams.


Ohhhh…that makes sense…send no junior higher unless they live on a farm. Wouldn’t it be great if Jesus explained this story to us? Well…he did! At least, the disciples asked him what he meant and he explained it to them. Thankfully, the explanation was written down so we can check that out too.

Read Mark 4:3-8 (The Message) 

“The farmer plants the Word. Some people are like the seed that falls on the hardened soil of the road. No sooner do they hear the Word than Satan snatches away what has been planted in them.

And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.

The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom newsbut are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.

But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.”

Whether it is a lesson from a youth pastor, sermon from a preacher, or conversation with a friend, people respond differently to hearing about Jesus. We want to strive to be like those seeds that fell into good soil and grew into healthy plants that produces a great harvest. Jesus says we do that by not just listening to the Bible, but by embracing it, by taking what we hear and putting it into action, allowing it to affect every part of our lives.

What about you? Which soil type describes you? Think about that this week and talk with one of us if we can help you be more like the good soil.

Let’s pray. (pray)

BONUS: End by handing out packets of small seeds for students to plant.

If you liked this game, check out this…

Junior High Game – Keep Your Fork (Includes a lesson on Experiencing God)


Mike Sheley is the Middle School Pastor at Mount Pleasant Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana, where he oversees their ministries for 5th-8th graders.  He’s been in full-time youth ministry over 16 years with most of that time focused on preteen and junior high students.



fresh corn on the cob photo by torbakhopper used under Creative Commons License from flic.kr/p/Cv5Pkk