Join The Telos Community
Inspire. Invigorate. Grow.
The Telos Project helps parishes reimagine young adult ministry in a way that invites young adults to become engaged, energetic, and effective leaders in your community.
We are here to get you started and be your guide.
Telos Helps Parishes Bridge the Gap
Orthodox parishes are incomplete without young adults; young adults need all the beauty, purpose, and transcendence of Orthodox parishes!
Yet, too often young adults don’t find a place in the Church.
Telos helps parishes & young adults grow in Christ together.
“The Telos adventure changed the life of our parish, and continues to. What a blessing that other parishes and priests can now have the same amazing experience!”
– Father David Smith
We Keep Things Simple
How We Do It
A one-year repeatable cycle of tailored coaching, sharing best practices, and engaging in a peer community—we help your parish develop sustainable young adult ministry.
Energize your parish with our Telos Workshop.
We come to you with our Telos Workshop. Through rich reflection and conversation, this workshop helps parishes identify how they can uniquely connect with young adults.
Apply to become a Telos parish in the spring.
Ready to dig in? Our one year process will help your parish gain a new perspective on young adult ministry. This perspective will help your community meet the real needs of your young adults.
Experience Telos support in action.
The Telos Process offers coaching, ministry best practices, a community of peers, and the structure to make young adult ministry thrive at your parish!
Start your journey
Bring Telos to your parish and energize your whole community
Apply to become a Telos Parish between Pascha & Ascension.
What Happens Next?
The Telos 2023-2024 cycle has launched! Next application round opens Spring 2024. Prepare your parish for Telos by hosting a Telos Workshop!
The Telos Impact
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Telos for?
- Telos helps teams at Orthodox parishes engage young adults
- We loosely define young adults to be between the ages of 23–29 but we don’t exclude those on the fringes of that demographic. Most importantly Telos focuses on the post-college age/stage of life, when young adults are first becoming independently established.
- Telos teams should consist primarily of young adults in this age range but should also include 1–2 “godparents”, older members there to shephard and mentor the team. There also needs to be a clergy presence and a parish council liaison on the team.
How long is Telos?
- Telos is a repeatable one-year cycle; from Pentecost to the following Pentecost, we offer teams an intentional process, coaching, and other tools to help you design and implement great ministry with and for young adults. And then we invite you to do it again the next year.
- Why year after year?
- Young adults become adults! And hopefully move into other ministry areas in parish life. So your parish is never without a ministry team for young adults, we support you in training new young adults year after year.
- It is our hope that your parish sees whole parish growth through engagement with young adults; this takes time!
What is coaching?
- We understand coaching for Telos to mean: the art and practice of inspiring, guiding, and equipping teams at parishes to move from where they are toward a greater depth and breadth of engagement of young adults.
- Coaching is not counseling, spiritual direction, consulting, or mentoring
- Our coaches are trained to listen, encourage, celebrate, affirm, and challenge teams. They are trained to help teams troubleshoot challenges and hold teams accountable to moving forward in their goals.
What kind of education does Telos offer?
- One of our educational offerings is a robust “adaptive design” process for the ministry context, which guides parishes through…
- listening/mapping exercises
- an all-day workshop we call “Telos Design Day”, where teams uncover and articulate a deeper understanding of young adult needs and realities, their parish’s realities, and then design creative initiatives through which their parish can better engage their young adults.
Want to learn more? This article gives further insight into the methodology of adaptive design that we utilize and teach.
- We have also compiled a collection of videos recorded by past Telos team members that teach ministry best practices. Themes include everything from team and meeting best practices (i.e how to run a meeting, understanding team roles etc.) to the varying ways we minister with and to young adults (i.e. fellowship, spiritual deepening, outreach, intergenerational ministry, etc.). Every team member will gain access to this library of resources and be prompted weekly to watch these short and engaging videos.
What if there are no active YAs at my parish?
- Telos does require a critical mass of YAs in order for it to be successful. If you can’t find that critical mass right now, we recommend you gather a group of older adults who really care about ministry for young adults and start getting to know young adults who are peripherally involved or in some way connected with your parish, or who walk through your parish doors. Get to know them for no other reason than seeking to understand who they are. If it seems it would be well-received, invite them to participate in your parish community.
- After a period of time getting to know young adults, reflect on the themes you hear and determine what your parish might need to do to better engage those young adults. If you are able to engage a core group of young adults, apply for Telos next year around Pascha 2024!
- Host a Telos Parish Workshop!
What if my parish doesn’t seem ready for Telos?
- Host a Telos Parish Workshop!! If you feel like your parish isn’t quite ready to take on the deeper work of becoming a Telos parish, but there is an appetite for something related to the engagement of young adults, we would love for your parish to host a workshop.
- For the Telos Parish Workshop, we send trained facilitators and all materials for a 3-hr workshop at no cost to you. This workshop is a beautiful reflective and formative experience designed to energize your whole parish around the need for ministry with and for young adults.
Is the demographic strictly ages 23–29?
We loosely define young adults to be between the ages of 23–29 but we don’t exclude those on the fringes of that age demographic. Most importantly Telos focuses on the post-college age/stage of life, when young adults are first becoming independently established.
How does Telos help us connect with the OCFs around us?
- Telos does not focus on college students for a couple reasons:
- OCF is designed to engage those in college and particularly those living away from home at college. It is a vibrant ministry geared towards those in this particular life-stage, a life-stage that is quite different from post-college. The gap of ministry in the Orthodox Church tends to be amongst the post-college young adult demographic and so Telos focuses there.
- That being said, many parishes are uniquely situated in college towns with a unique opportunity to connect with OCF chapters and minister to students, so conversation around how best to do so in these situations will occur during the tailored coaching calls.
How is Telos different from YA ministries like YAL Conferences, Connect Conference, “Orthodoxy on Tap”, and Metropolis/Diocesean young adult initiatives?
There are many AMAZING conferences and Metropolis/Diocesan level ministries that very effectively engage young adults both socially AND in their faith. We very much support the MANY ministries that do this. What these ministries are not designed to do is weave young adults into the life of the local parish. They are not designed to help parishes meet the needs of young adults or draw them into the life of a parish. This parish-based engagement is what Telos focuses on.
How much does Telos cost?
- There is no cost to participate in Telos; if you are accepted as a Telos Parish, the Telos Project will invest in your team through coaching, educational resources, and formative experiences such as Design Day; we are hoping this will be for the long term benefit and growth of your parish. All we ask in return is that your parish provide a modest budget for your young adults to use to fund their own activities.
- Similarly, the Telos Parish Workshop is free, apart from any refreshments you choose to offer participants; we send trained facilitators and all materials for a 3-hr workshop at no cost to you.