Ask for one volunteer who would like to try to earn a prize. Bring him up and have him sit in a chair on stage. Show the prize you have selected and tell your volunteer that all he has to do to win the prize is define one term that we sometimes use and hear in church. “Oh, and did I mention that there was a penalty if you don’t get it right?”
Take out from some hidden space a flexible pie tin and a can of whipped cream. Usually this gets a big reaction from the audience when they catch on. Play it up by slowly filling the pie tin in front of the volunteer. Ask questions like, “Do you like whipped cream?” “Do you know if it works well as shampoo?”
Now downplay the whole pie thing and remind everyone that all he has to do is define one church term. Now give the term: substitutionary atonement. When your volunteer can’t answer correctly start adding more whipped cream to the pie tin. Maybe put a bib on him. (Of course the floor should already be covered). Get the audience to do a countdown with you before you put the pie in the volunteer’s face.
On about 3 have a pre-planted student or adult stand up and interrupt the countdown saying that she wants to take the volunteers place. Act like you can’t believe it and ask if she is sure she wants to take his place. Have her come up and replace the volunteer, do the countdown, and pie her good. You must pie her or the point will not be well made.
Now ask the audience what the church term was and explain that what the second volunteer did was to take the place of (substitute or substitutionary) the first volunteer and to pay for what he did wrong (atonement).
Suggestion: don’t ask the volunteer if he wants a substitute (I have had some who don’t).