As a reader of this blog, you’ll probably recognize the face on the cover of this month’s Christianity Today. It’s none other than the guy who usually writes in this space – Focus on the Family President Jim Daly. Jim’s been gracious enough to turn this platform over to me – the PR guy – today so I can urge you to give the accompanying article in CT a look. It is by far the most in-depth examination of our ministry’s passions and priorities as we move into what I like to call “Focus 2.0” – the next generation of helping families thrive.
The article, an extensive piece researched and written over the course of several months by CT reporter Sarah Pulliam Bailey, documents our efforts, under Jim’s leadership, to bring even more energy to our core ministry callings of helping couples build strong marriages and raise healthy kids. It also spotlights the work we’re doing to advocate for children and engage the culture – what Jim often describes, and does so again here, as the “orthopraxis” (the doing of the Word) to complement the orthodoxy (the study of the Word). And weaved through it all is the ministry’s overarching mission to, again as Jim has often expressed it, bring people closer to the heart of Christ in all we do.
Before I turn you loose to read the piece, let me just add this: If you’re a friend and fan of Focus on the Family, I can pretty much assure you that you won’t like everything you read in the story. I don’t like everything I read in the story. But it’s important to remember the standard we should apply to journalists is not to write a story exactly the way we’d write it ourselves: Would you really trust the abilities of a reporter who did that? Instead, our measure ought to be, “Is the story fair? Even if some people are quoted saying things we don’t agree with, are we given the chance to express, in our own words, what we stand for and why we stand for it?”
Christianity Today did, indeed, give us that opportunity. They asked tough questions and produced a fair story. To this old ex-journalist, that’s a credit to them and a win for us as we seek to make more people aware of the help available to them through Focus on the Family.
Gary Schneeberger serves as vice president of communications at Focus on the Family.