Should Christians counsel unbelievers?

A few excerpts from Alasdair Groves' article in the Journal of Biblical Counseling from CCEF:
Counseling a non-Christian involves building a friendship. Get to know this person. Ask questions. Express appreciation. Show tenderness and compassion. Share things about yourself. Spend time. Listen attentively. Discern what is important. Notice strengths as well as failings. Ask how someone is really doing, and mean it. This question, asked with genuine interest, is a precious gift. If you can care about a friend who is not a Christian, why should counseling be any different? Jesus looked at the rich young ruler and “loved him.” We must know and love this person living in separation from God, just as Christ loved us when we walked in darkness.
Christian ministry is evangelism. In counseling this means we strive for a relationship where the natural next step in the relationship is speaking about the good news of the Good Shepherd. What happens when someone acknowledges shame, guilt, wounds, wickedness, weakness or loneliness? That person becomes more open to a Shepherd who laid down his life so his sheep could have glorious, endless, forgiven, painless, shameless, eternal life with God as part of his family. 
Read the whole article for free here as a PDF.

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