COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (BP)–James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, has announced his intention to step down from his role as host of the ministry’s flagship radio broadcast at the end of February.
Focus on the Family President Jim Daly characterized Dobson’s departure as the “third chapter in a transition that began in 2003” when the popular pro-family advocate resigned as president of the organization he started in 1977. Last February, Dobson resigned as chairman of the board at Focus on the Family.
“One of the common errors of founder-presidents is to hold to the reins of leadership too long, thereby preventing the next generation from being prepared for executive authority,” Dobson, 73, said in February. “… Though letting go is difficult after three decades of intensive labor, it is the wise thing to do.”
Dobson did not release a statement regarding his resignation from hosting the radio broadcast, which reaches an estimated 1.5 million U.S. listeners daily. Focus on the Family said Dobson will continue to record new broadcasts through February and subsequently will appear as an occasional guest.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said Dobson has been “a giant for the cause of Christ and the family. His voice will be sorely missed. We should all pause to give thanks for his many, many years of dedicated service to the Lord.”
Daly said Dobson’s departure from the post and from official affiliation with Focus on the Family was a mutual decision between Dobson and the ministry’s board of directors.
“The Bible tells us that to everything there is a season — and Dr. Dobson’s season at Focus on the Family has been remarkable,” Daly said in an Oct. 30 news release. “He has done a superlative job in modeling the graceful transition of leadership from one generation to the next.”
“We’re excited about continuing the work he began and following the biblical principles he’s always followed to reach today’s families,” Daly, 48, said.
Dobson remains “a man of health and vigor,” Daly said, and he will continue to make his voice heard in the public square, where he has become a renowned provider of conservative family and moral advice.
“Dr. Dobson is a wordsmith, but one word I don’t suspect we’ll hear him using is ‘retirement,'” Daly said, adding that Focus on the Family will host a series of events in the coming months to honor Dobson’s contributions to the ministry.
“Focus on the Family has never been about one man,” Daly said. “That’s why Dr. Dobson has always refused to have his name put on any building here. It’s about doing the Lord’s work in helping families.”
No plans to replace Dobson on air were announced.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.