Back in Stripes

By Paul Clark

This month the high school basketball in Ohio tipped off and I restarted my officiating career after a two-year layoff. Before I took a sabbatical from the Stripes, I had worked 15 years as a high school basketball official. I tried some small college stuff, but the time away from home was worse than H.S, and I knew I wasn’t on a track to someday have the Duke-North Carolina game. So I’m happy being in all the local gyms, getting to know people I would never otherwise meet, and enjoying the excitement that winter Friday nights can bring. Why do I do it?

Proximity. It puts me in close proximity to lost people. Without it I’d live in a Christian bubble most of the time.

Distraction. It’s a great distraction from the pressures of work and ministry.

Preparation. It probably helps prepare me for the pressures of church leadership. Imagine coming out with that charge call and having half the gym start screaming at you. That’s pressure.

People. I do it because through it I’ve met some awesome people, been asked to officiate several weddings, and had the privilege of seeing some of my friends join me in a journey of faith.

Influence. I want to have a sphere of influence that goes beyond the church.

Health. I do it to stay in shape. You have to be fairly fit to run with the caliber of athletes you find in most big schools today.

Confidence. Being in charge is in my nature – just like it’s probably your nature. We help lead and manage big churches and teams of people. We like to make the big call and we like to be in the big moment.

Where do you find these kinds of things outside the church? Where do you go to engage the world and stretch yourself?

Paul Clark is pastor of ministry environments/operations at Fairhaven Church, Centerville, OH. He has served in the areas of church administration and operations for 18 years. His passion is to translate great vision into organizational reality, sharing his thoughts and ideas at and @paultclark Twitter account.


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