Colorado Springs, Colo – Focus on the Family wished its founder, Dr. James Dobson, well today as he announced plans to start a new nonprofit group and host a new radio program.
Dobson is leaving the organization he founded in 1977 as part of a leadership transition process begun nearly eight years ago. His last radio broadcast for Focus on the Family is expected to be at the end of February.
"Dr. Dobson has been a comforting voice to generations of Americans," said Jim Daly, president and CEO of the ministry. "For more than three decades he has been helping families with advice rooted in biblical principles. He has also modeled to the thousands of us who have worked at Focus through the years the importance of never straying from those principles as the source of our counsel to married couples and parents.
"We will continue to rely on these timeless truths to help families thrive from the heartland of the U.S. to countries around the world," Daly said. "Our reach is growing, not only globally, but among younger parents, and we pray that, with the Lord's blessing, Focus on the Family's impact will grow, too."
Dobson's decision to start a new organization and radio show is not a surprise to Daly or the ministry's board of directors; back in October 2009, the 73-year-old psychologist told the board he planned to continue on the airwaves. Daly said Dobson's decision to come back to radio in a show co-hosted by his son, Ryan, makes perfect sense.
"He has the chance to share his life's work and passion with his only son," Daly said. "What man wouldn't choose to do that?"
As for Focus on the Family, Daly is excited about the future – particularly the way in which the ministry has ramped up its "hands-on" ministry efforts – from its Option Ultrasound program, which has potentially saved thousands of unborn babies, to its successful Wait No More adoption initiative, aimed at reducing the number of children in foster care nationwide connecting state agencies to local churches.
"More than 500 children have now been welcomed into, or are in the process of being welcomed into, forever families through Wait No More," Daly explained. "That's exactly the kind of hands-and-feet-of-Jesus ministry we want to continue to grow here."
Radio, of course, will remain a staple of Focus' outreach efforts – John Fuller will continue as co-host, with Daly, family psychologist Dr. Juli Slattery and other ministry experts offering fresh new content on marriage, parenting and the culture for the worldwide listening audience of 230 million. Dobson may even return from time to time, Daly said, because Focus in no way considers itself in competition with Dobson's new group or program.
"We've never been the only family-help ministry on the block – we have worked alongside, and frequently partnered with, groups like Family Life and Concerned Women for America through the years," Daly said. "The needs of families worldwide are great – we will continue to dedicate ourselves to helping them, working together with like-minded groups to have the greatest impact possible."
He added that the ministry has plans to reach a younger generation of families with a wide variety of content while continuing to offer assistance to those who have looked to Focus over the years for answers.
"Many people who have been with us for a while have now entered their grandparenting years," he explained. "The role of grandparents in the lives of their children and grandchildren is critical to the stability of the family. This is one of the main ways we transfer values from one generation to the next.
"I'm excited about what the Lord has in store for Focus on the Family in 2010 and beyond," Daly added. "It's an honor to do His work on behalf of His institution – the family."