Focus on the Family celebrates 25 years
James Dobson's Focus on the Family completed its 25th anniversary celebrations yesterday in a worship service with Prayer of Jabez author Bruce Wilkinson and Christian singers Matthew Ward and Kim Hill. The previous night, Chuck Colson, Michael W. Smith, Stephen Curtis Chapman—and about 15,000 Focus fans—joined the Dobsons at Denver's Pepsi Center for an anniversary service.

"Sometimes he can be a little controversial," Colson said. "If you're going to wrestle with principalities and powers and the forces of evil, of course you're going to be controversial."

But while a lot of planning went into the quarter-century celebration, even more is going into the organization's post-Dobson future, reports the Colorado Springs Gazette. "The transition to the post-Dobson era already has begun, though Dobson, 66, has been more active than ever on the talk-show circuit and says he has perhaps 10 years left in his career," writes Gazette religion reporter Eric Gorski. "The succession plan acknowledges one person cannot replace Dobson … [and] calls for a chief executive officer to handle business matters and a 'chief articulator' to be the voice of the ministry. The articulator job, Dobson and others say, will be much harder to fill. There's internal debate about whether one person can do it or if a team approach is best."

Already ruled out are Dobson's heirs, Danae and Ryan. Instead, Gorski reports, "During the past two years, the ministry has hired or given new duties to a handful of rising stars. A successor to Dobson could be among them." The main names floated are Walt Larimore and Bill Maier. Like Dobson, both have experience in both media and medicine—though Dobson says their increased prominence ...

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