Last week, I got a bunch of forwards from people of a story on religionnews.com that was about what Ted Lasso can teach to clergy. Click here for the article
Who is Ted Lasso? Simply, it is one of the best shows on TV today. If you haven’t watched it, go and get a month of Apple TV+ and binge watch it. It is so so so so so good.
Mr Salkin lists several things about what clergy can learn from Ted…
- Ted Lasso is from somewhere else
- Ted Lasso is unflappable
- Ted Lasso is clear about his mission, even if it means being unpopular
- Ted Lasso embraces his own vulnerabilities
- Ted Lasso is a coach
I agree with all of these and think they’re great but there’s a few others that I feel I need to add and one that I want to add onto.
Ted Lasso Embraces His Own Vulnerabilities
I would rephrase this a bit because it takes Ted a WHILE to get to the point of recognizing his own stuff. So, here’s what I would add to it. Clergy, know your own stuff (or !@#$ or crap or issues or whatever you would like to call it). I have seen too many clergy (and I am and have been one of them) who don’t know their own issues and as a result they push their issues onto other people. I started learning this lesson during one of my internships in seminary and I’m STILL learning and working through my stuff. Ted had to wait until he crashed before he started seeking help. Clergy, don’t wait until that happens.
Ted Has a Circle of Friends
Ted forms a group of friends through the two seasons who he can go to for advice and insight. It might not be the perfect group but they are there for each other. Clergy, you need others as support and wisdom but also as friends with whom you can be honest, real, and have fun with. People you can sit down with and talk about what’s really going on and also people you can just share a drink with and talk about nothing of great consequence. Ted’s group calls themselves the Diamond Dogs – maybe come up with a name for your group. My group is Hupo – a group of pastors with whom I have met nearly every year since we graduated seminary.
Ted is Kind
Right now, we have a shortage of kindness in the world. I think that’s one of the things that resonates about Ted Lasso with people. He’s simply a genuine nice person. We as clergy need to model this for our congregations and communities. We need to model that shouting at school boards or city councils is not the way we are to act. We need to model healthy behavior even when we disagree vehemently or even when someone has hurt us. There’s a scene in the finale of season 2 that is just beautiful on this front.
Be a Goldfish Together
In Ted Lasso, losing a soccer/football match is hard. So much effort, energies, practice, strategy that feels at times like it is wasted when a loss comes. Into that loss Ted told his team “Let’s be sad now. Let’s be sad together. And then let’s be a gosh-darn goldfish.” (I don’t know if goldfish have the shortest memory but just go with it). What I love is that Ted honors the reality of being sad but shares that its best to be sad with others and then a time comes to move on. Clergy, there will be times in ministry where it hurts to be a pastor. People will say things and do things that hurt you. You will hurt when someone in your congregation passes away and you have to not only deal with your own grief but also be the one to speak hope and truth into that time. The program or idea that you thought was a sure thing may fail and you’re left wondering what happened. And its ok to be sad. But don’t be sad alone (see the Diamond Dogs above). Be sad but don’t just stay in that sadness. Be a goldfish.
There’s probably more I could keep going with but I’ll leave it with those three. Again, if you haven’t watched the show, you really should do it.