Smart Compassion


About the Author

Wesley Furlong is the founder and director of City of Refuge (, a network for community transformation, and the director of church development for EVANA, an evangelical Anabaptist network of churches across North America. Furlong holds a master’s degree in theology from Emory University and is working toward a doctorate in social work. He and his wife, Bonnie, have three kids and an ever-changing number of foster children. Connect with him at

About Smart Compassion

When is doing good not good enough? When does “doing outreach” actu- ally do harm?

Smart Compassion calls Christians to strategic, prayerful, and biblically based approaches to compassion. With evangelical Anabaptist convictions and insights from psychology, Wesley Furlong uses his background as a church leader and nonpro t founder to guide readers through the three aspects of smart compassion needed for families and neighborhoods to our- ish: collective empowerment, radical hospitality, and healing presence. In the vein of When Helping Hurts, discover wise strategies that bring Jesus’ love to your neighbors. Shift your paradigm from xing everybody’s problems to spending yourself well. Learn how to hold together justice and evangelism, worldly wisdom and divine revelation, action and prayer.

For anyone who wants to make a difference but doesn’t know how, Smart Compassion offers a contagious vision and practical steps for real change.

Key Features:

  • Definition of smart compassion and helpful tips for individuals and congregations to live it out
  • Strengths-based approach to getting to know your community’s chal- lenges and assets
  • Stories of churches learning effective ministry in their contexts
  • Introduction to research-driven strategies such as community mapping and assessment tools
  • Biblical rationale and practical steps for helping your community flourish


“One size doesn’t t all when it comes to engaging needs. Furlong’s work gives practical advice on how to customize your response appropriately so that people are genuinely helped. Your community will be glad you read this book!”

—Reggie McNeal, author of Kingdom Come and Missional Renaissance

“Smart Compassion captured my heart from the moment Furlong asks us to consider this central question of how to spend your life well on behalf of others. Through careful examination of Scripture and practical steps, he invites and challenges us to consider what ‘doing better’ looks like. A great read!”

—Beth Guckenberger, cofounder of Back2Back Ministries and au- thor of Start with Amen

“An exceptional integration of biblical Christian faith and Christ- like living. Furlong shows us the way to act on the prayer that Jesus gave us: We want your kingdom to come here and now, in this particular place and in me, as it is in heaven. If you really do want that prayer answered, read this book.”

—Richard Kriegbaum, president of Fresno Pacific University

“Smart Compassion puts love for one’s neighbor into shoe leather. Our life in faith is to be relational, first with our Lord but in turn with all whom we meet. This is a stimulating read.”

—Myron Augsburger, president emeritus, Eastern Mennonite University