My (blogging) friend, Bob Robinson is starting a series that considers how we approach those we would want to help bring into the kingdom of God in Jesus. I look forward to his thoughts and work on this.
He points out that we need to see people as Eikons of God, therefore special, and affirm them in that specialness. Yet at the same time they (and we) are cracked Eikons, something is wrong. And we would help them see that they can begin to realize their created potential through Christ and the new humanity in him.
I am reminded of the Reformation teaching that humans are basically good though flawed with sin, likened to a container holding water which represents the goodness from God in bearing God's image. Just a small amount of ink representing sin, dumped into the water colors the entire water. So that while we're not pure ink, as in pure sin, sin permeates and taints every part of who we are (taken and adapted from Miroslav Volf). I would have some questions about this approach that I'm confident Bob will grapple with or address in one way or another as we try to find a more Biblical, Jesus-oriented way of evangelism.
This goes for us when we try to help each other, as well. If we can only hone in on the negatives about the person we're trying to help, then it will cast doubt on our counsel. We need to see the good, acknowledge that and help them see that we ourselves have our shortcomings, and maybe right in line with their problem.
And above all we need to seek to reach out and help others as a friend. Arguably Jesus reached out to Judas right to the end, calling him, "Friend." We might not agree theologically as to all that's going on here, but I think we can agree that Jesus's approach was consistent in this way. He lived and acted as one who was seeking to save that which was lost.
What insight or story or thought might you like to add here?