Conservative evangelical leader James Dobson has resigned as chairman of Focus on the Family but will continue to play a prominent role at the organization he founded more than three decades ago, The Associated Press has learned.
Dobson notified the board of his decision Wednesday, and the 950 employees of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based ministry were informed Friday morning at a monthly worship service, said Jim Daly, the group’s president and chief executive officer.
Dobson, 72, will continue to host Focus on the Family’s flagship radio program, write a monthly newsletter and speak out on moral issues, Daly said.
Dobson’s resignation as board chairman “lessens his administrative burden” and is the latest step in a succession plan, the group said. Dobson began relinquishing control six years ago by stepping down as president and CEO.
There are way too many organizations in the conservative movement that are dependent on their figure head. They are, in effect, employment centers for out of work big shots.
Look at Free Congress. God bless our dearly departed conservative icon Paul Weyrich, but Free Congress was his. It existed to promote him and his causes. With him gone, it’s folding up shop.
Does anyone think American Solutions would survive if Newt Gingrich keeled over tomorrow? And what about Freedom Works? For that matter, what about Leadership Institute after Morton Blackwell is gone?
What is the plan? Who is the leader?
In the conservative movement, there are a vast number of organizations consuming ungodly sums of money, taking that money out of productive channels, solely to give an icon a platform. When the person dies the organization dies and with it the money dies in waste.
This is why James Dobson is a truly great leader — he is willing to give up power because he understands the cause is larger than himself.
Dobson is committed to his cause. He won’t let Focus on the Family be about him. Not only does that show his humble Christian spirit, it shows him to be the epitome of a strong leader.
We need more James Dobsons.