Smart Compassion: How to Stop “Doing Outreach” and Start Making Change

by Wesley Furlong. Herald Press, 2017.

“Why is the neighborhood so unresponsive to our congregation’s outreach (or evangelism, or local mission) programs?” This guide from a Mennonite pastor offers a relationship-rich model for community ministry that can transform both community and congregation. In this approach, people work together to identify community needs and craft solutions. Furlong details three key relational stances which congregations can take: Healing Presence operates on the personal level, Radical Hospitality on the family level, and Collective Empowerment on the community level. One aspect of empowerment, for example, is that it provides the kind of help that is appropriate to a given situation, or “rightly placed doors and nets.” The “smart” in the title refers being strategic - getting to know the community’s needs and gifts; using assessment and other evaluation practices. This book is for congregations wishing to engage in mutual ministry with their community. A {{companion study-action guide |}} is also available.