While waiting for a church service to begin, I overheard a conversation happening in the rows behind me. There was a group of students from a nearby Christian college that was visiting the service I was attending. The person sitting next to them struck up a conversation inquiring about the group. One individual said they were all studying to be pastors, and as part of their coursework, they were visiting nearby churches every week to meet the congregants and take notes on what they liked and didn’t like.
As the conversation continued, the pastor-in-training asked someone else nearby what had drawn them to the church when they began attending there. This engaged others around as well, and the responses were all similar: the messages, the preacher, and the atmosphere were the prevailing themes. What made me very sad was the one word I did not hear mentioned: Jesus.