Wednesday, November 8, 2017
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CST

You probably think you’re a pretty good listener, don’t you? Most of us do. Not in the psychiatric sort of way, but in regular contact with neighbors and peers. Unfortunately, most, if not all of us, suffer from unhealthy listening practices. Under the compassionate guise of listening, are we only hearing what we want to hear? Toxic listening makes assumptions about the needs of a community, projecting personal or institutional feelings or goals, instead of hearing what’s really being said. Next level listening moves beyond identifying surface issues or perceived needs and braves the front-lines of real community transformation.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How unhealthy listening can lead to toxic programming
  • How assumptions undermine even the best intentions
  • How to ask for what you really need (not what supporters want you to need)
  • Next Level Listening: How to interpret what you hear better
  • Three foundations of real community transformation


Rev. Josh Woodrow is the founding pastor of Bridge City Community in Chattanooga, Tenn., an intentionally multi-ethnic urban mission humbly pursuing reconciliation, justice, and mercy. Over the course of the last four years, Josh has developed a reputation of commitment and consistency within South Chattanooga. He has partnered with multiple neighborhood associations and is a valued resource for the local elementary school, spending multiple days a week in the classroom or being hospitable to faculty and staff.

Mark Thomas grew up in South Chattanooga and for over a decade has been a force of positive change. He currently serves part-time as youth minister for Bridge City Community and as facility director of the South Chattanooga Youth and Family Development Center. Mark has been working for change with youth in the Southside community by developing STUNTIN (Students that Unite & Take Initiative Against Gangs) and starting Next in Line (the first city-wide teen summer intern program), and has worked extensively with the City of Chattanooga’s Gang Task Force. Shaped by his own life experiences as a longtime resident of Chattanooga, he enjoys universal street credibility and employs a tireless work ethic to see the youth and community transformed by the Gospel.

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*This information was provided by Wheat Ridge Ministries.