Explore the Telos Community & its Boundless Opportunities
How Does Telos Work?
Young Adult Ministry in Action
What does it mean to be a Telos parish?
Your parish will be guided through an 18 month intensive of Telos offerings
After the 18 months, choose to continue to utilize any of the Telos tools
Telos checks in year after year, our toolbox is always available to you
What happens during the 18 month intensive?
- A Telos coach works with a team of 5-8 people from your parish, mostly consisting of young adults
- Telos simultaneously engages the wider parish providing tools that involve the whole community in this work
Your Telos Coach will equip you with all the Telos tools through this 18mo intensive–here is a glimpse of the timeline
Telos simultaneously engages the wider parish providing tools that involve the whole community in this work. Here is a glimpse of the parish-wide timeline:
The Telos Impact
What is the Telos Parish Workshop?
A reflective and energizing workshop where we:
- Facilitate reflection and discussion across generations
- Celebrating the strengths of your parish
- Uncover opportunities for your parish to support young adults and grow stronger together
We send facilitators to you along with all the materials needed at no cost! You just need to schedule a date.
This workshop lays the groundwork for the work ahead.
So that’s what we do, what’s next for you?
Telos toolkit for Telos Team
- Team building
- Telos Design process—a better rhythm for crafting ministry
- Listening sprint: empathetic conversations
- Listening sprint: community mapping
- National Design Day
- Virtual Design Day
- Direct Coaching
- Monthly virtual peer learning
- Resources educating on young adult ministry best practices
- Sustainability support
Telos toolkit for parish
- Telos Parish Workshop
- Find Your Telos Book
- Book study accompanying materials
- Monthly teachings and prompts for action
- Coaching support for clergy and adult leadership
The Telos Impact
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Telos for?
- Telos is for parishes who want to intentionally grow their engagement of young adults (those in the 23-30ish age range).
- Telos works primarily with a “Telos Team” compiled of mostly young adults training and equipping them to more deeply engage their young adult peers in the life of the Church.
- Telos simultaneously engages the wider parish helping them grow as a place that welcomes young adults in the life and leadership of the parish.
How long is Telos?
- Your parish will be guided through an 18 month intensive of Telos offerings mapped to the liturgical year.
- After the 18 months, choose to continue to utilize any of the Telos tools. Telos checks in with your parish year after year, our toolbox of support is always available to you–once a Telos parish, always a Telos parish!
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?
- Our foundational educational offering 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.
- And finally, we have constructed a “sustainability sprint” where teams work through a process of assessment and continued design to ensure the parish and young adults continue to grow and deepen their engagement with one another.
What if there are no active YAs (at least 3 young adults willing to serve in a leadership capacity) 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 23–30?
We loosely define young adults to be between the ages of 23–30 (that’s why you see us use the “ish”) 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.
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!