If you have been a Christian for any length of time you most likely have heard of Focus on the Family. If you are not familiar with this organization they have been a leading flag ship in the battle for the family in Christian worldview battle. FOF was founded in 1977 by psychologist James Dobson, and is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Focus on the Family is one of a number of evangelical para-church organizations that rose to prominence in the 1980s. Under James Dobson Focus on the Family's mission was "nurturing and defending the God-ordained institution of the family and promoting biblical truths worldwide."
In March 2005, Jim Daly, formerly the Vice President in charge of Focus on the Family's International Division, assumed the role of president and chief executive officer. Than on February 27, 2009, Dobson officially announced he was stepping down as chairman of the Board of Directors. This action now leaves Jim Daly in charge of the helm of FOF.
As we all know nothing can stay the same for ever. Everything changes and that includes those who are in charge of organizations like FOF. So the change has happen and Jim Daly is taking over and with doing so he has instituted changes at FOF some for the good and some for the bad. Daly is steering the group in a new direction, according to a lengthy in the evangelical magazine by Sarah Pulliam Bailey. What we must be careful of here is that Daly with all his changes could be what is called a "change agent". That is a person who's sole intent is to change a group or organization into something that it actually is fighting against by slowly changing the direct of the organization. "Daly is trying to reduce the group’s emphasis on politics. He says he doesn’t want Focus to be driven by a “personality” but by a sense of mission because mission-driven groups have "greater staying power."
Daly told Christianity Today in an interview:
"We tend to shut down the ears of people to hear the gospel because they only see you in a political context or as a conservative. Christianity must transcend politics in order to change culture and politics."
So where does this leave FOF? When Dobson was at the helm we know exactly where FOF stood on the culture, family and politics. Daly is trying to refocus FOF to be more on the family he claims. He has stated the ultimate goal is to return the organization to its original focus on marriage and family advice. Daly’s apparent strategy to do that apparently involves dialing back political activism.
This may sound like a great ideal at first. However I do believe that is what Dobson already was doing and leading FOF towards with still being able to be involved in the political arena and activism. So than what exactly is Daly trying to refocus FOF towards? I find it strange that James Dobson has resigned and any connection with FOF after Daly take over of FOF. Why dial back the political activism if you are going to affect change on a culture you need to back the people you are trying help and stand with. FOF needs to stand as a voice for those who do not have a voice instead of becoming a silent elephant.
I mentioned earlier that I thought that Daly maybe a change agent and this is my opinion because of his dialing back of the politcal activism. If FOF is out of the way of the anti christian movements like the homosexuals and abortionist in the political arena than who will be the voice and activist against them? Who will be able voice concern in these areas and battle the culture like FOF has. This make total sense if these groups really wanted to stop FOF the easiest way to do this is to get someone in charge who unwillingly points them in a new direction while they make their anti Christian political moves.
This is why I feel FOF is making a wrong move in their new direct and leadership mission. Is Daly a change agent or not? You decide.
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