You have got to ask yourself why would lightning strike this object in the first place? Lightning isn't something that is out there looking for something to strike. It is a build-up of large voltage difference and it is looking for a way to equalise out this voltage difference as easily as possible. Hence it finds a "path of least resistance" down to earth. This is the idea behind lightning conductors. They provide this line of least resistance to 'encourage' the lightning to use it in preference to whatever else. So when lightning strikes a tree or even a building that hasn't got a lightning conductor it HAS found the easiest path to ground. Usually because it is wet. But, like the previous answerers have said this hot plasma stream will burn anything it comes into contact with. When things get struck by lightning it is often called "an act of god" (usually so that it can be excluded from insurance policies) which makes it all the more ironic that churches have to have lightning conductors.