Wesley Furlong is the founder and director of City of Refuge (refuge.life), a network for community transformation and the director of Church Development for the EVANA Network, an evangelical Anabaptist network of churches across North America. He served as the lead pastor of Cape Christian Fellowship in Cape Coral, FL from 2008-2015 and teaching pastor from 2004-2008. In 2012, Wesley started a city initiative called Not In My City (notinmycity.org) that grew into City of Refuge. He holds an M.A. in biblical studies, an M.T.S. from Emory University in theology and is presently working toward a Ph.D. in Social Work. He and his wife Bonnie have three kids (Alexandra-14, Ellyana-10, Maddox-9) and ever-changing number of foster children.
Here are a few themes of my writings…
Thresholds of Growth:
The good thing is seldom the easy thing.
Growth requires us to lean in to necessary conflicts full of grace and truth.
Good decisions aren’t made in times of crisis.
Our capacity for self-deception is limitless.
Our need to be reminded exceeds our need to be instructed.
Identity is found in relationships more than personal achievements. Vocation is a matter of hearing and obeying God’s calling more than fulfilling our personal dreams.
What happened to us matters greatly, but what we think happened to us matters more. Our life story is more important than our personality type.
Great marriage and parenting require a serious learning curve.
People matter, things don’t. Ambition is a vice, not a virtue.
God’s love absorbs pain.
Forgiveness breaks the power of sin.
The three barriers to wholeness are receiving and extending forgiveness and accepting our true identity.
Introspection is hell, not a path to self-discovery.
God can heal anything brought into the light, but it must be brought into the light to be healed.
The source and object of our love must be distinguished. We grow from loving people as we think they deserve into loving them how Jesus loves us.
The Christian of the future will be a mystic.
The movement of healing is always up and out, never down and in.
Acts of compassion are laudable. Smart acts of compassion are valuable.
For most people, the problem with limited community engagement isn’t apathy, it’s knowledge. When people can see how their time and money makes tangible, life-altering differences for others, they’ll give more in a heartbeat.
The ‘feel’ of Christian ministry needs to be more like extended family than efficient operations.
Radical hospitality well networked is an authoritative community. More than anything tangible we can build, authoritative communities that are responsive to their neighbors help preempt tragedy by hearing the cry for help long before law enforcement does. It’s never as gratifying as personal campaigns for a good cause, and it can’t be neatly programmed or quickly scaled, but it is what heals generations and transforms legacies.