Six key values define a Telos Collective leader and our group as a whole.
We focus our teaching, training and coaching on these six values, chosen by our founder and leader Bishop Todd Hunter. We explore one of the values each year at our annual gathering. We train and equip Telos Collective leaders to be competent in each of these areas.
- Gospel of the Kingdom: Central to Jesus’ life and ministry was the proclamation, demonstration and embodiment of the Gospel of the Kingdom. It gives coherence to his words, works, and way of being in the world. Seeking the fruit that approximates Jesus and his first friends, leaders must learn to live, teach and minister in the manner in which he did.
- Cultural Engagement: We are not culture bashers, culture haters or culture warriors. Rather, we love God’s creation—even the confused and broken bits. In regard to mission, justice and evangelism, we strive to live out a rubric we borrow from Edwin Freidman: Fully differentiate as followers of Jesus, but stay connected to the people and events of our lives as non-anxious leaders. Seeking to be ambassadors of the kingdom—of forgiveness, healing, deliverance and wholeness—we strive to notice and give ourselves to divine appointments, joining God at work in the world. As leaders, we seek to grow in healthy, love-based, Spirit-enabled diversity of all kinds.
- Missional Ecclesiology: Miroslav Volf helps us get a sense of missional ecclesiology: No church without the reign of God…No reign of God without the church. As it embodies, announces and demonstrates the inbreaking of the kingdom of God, the church is sign, instrument and foretaste of the kingdom consummation to come. A missional ecclesiology does not fuss over secondary things (low church/high church, etc.). It focuses on who the church is and how the church finds its nature and practices (liturgical and sacramental) within the narrative that began with Divine intention and will end in God’s telos.
- Missional Leadership: Intelligent, missional engagement with culture does not happen without leadership. We must not be afraid of leadership but embrace it as both a human reality (by God’s design) and a spiritual gift. Most churches need to change to engage in mission. Often this change includes finding focus. Change of that sort calls for leadership. Thus, missional leadership is a core discipline for the Telos Collective. Leading change is complex and demanding. It requires answering powerful and subtle questions: What specifically needs changed? Why—what is the vision such change enables? What is the right scope of change? What is the right pace? Who will help me with this change? For whom is this change scary or unpalatable? Given the whole range of people in my church, how do I simultaneously move them to a preferable future and pastorally care for them? This is the multifaceted task of missional leadership.
- God’s Empowering Presence: We live by God’s design in the age of the Holy Spirit. As J.I. Packer has written: The essence of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is that as Jesus’ deputy and representative agent in Christian’s minds and hearts, he mediates to us the personal presence and ministry of the Lord Jesus. Jesus insisted on Spirit-enabled ministry, saying: “Wait to launch out in ministry until you have been clothed with power from on high.” And tying our life and ministry to his, Jesus said: As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that he breathed on them and said, ”Receive the Holy Spirit.” It is the Holy Spirit who guides, animates, authorizes, empowers, engifts and enfruits Christian life and ministry so that we are joyfully aligned with God’s telos.
- Spiritual Formation: Through becoming Jesus’ constant students in kingdom living, we must become the kinds of people who could actually live kingdom lives. Spiritual formation is tied to mission: Spiritual formation is, by its very nature, missional. As we are formed into the likeness of Christ, we increasingly share God’s infinitely tender love for others. We deepen in our compassion for the poor, the broken, and the lost. We ache and pray and labor for others in a new way, a selfless, joy‐filled way. Our hearts are enlarged toward all people and toward all of creation.