Focus on the Family

We were in Colorado Springs, so we had to visit the Focus on the Family campus. In the broader expanse of Christianity, Focus has done a lot of good work for the cause of Christ, mostly with social and political inroads. They are still carrying some weight in those areas.

As a courtesy nod to their good work and curiosity about how a large ministry functions, I wanted to visit their campus. I also have a sentimental affection for James Dobson. Before my theology became more precise and while I was scrambling for truth in a barren Christian culture (fundamentalism), God used Dobson to help me.

The Focus ministry is much smaller than it used to be. One of the four buildings on campus is no longer in use due to downsizing. The ministry has lost a lot of strength. I have not kept up with them, so I’m not aware why they have not been able to sustain the ministry.

The one building we could visit was the visitor’s center, which was a fabulous facility. The workers were great. Personable, happy, courteous, welcoming, helpful, and passionate. They are the kind of folks you want on the front line of a ministry. And the building was fantastic, especially the kid area, which was on the bottom floor.

A few years ago, a couple visited Focus, and while there, they asked a tour guide if all the visitors got in the way of Focus doing their day-to-day work. The guide said it was a problem. The couple donated 4,000,000.00 to build a visitor’s center. Boom!

And that is how I pray. Some day, somebody will love what we do so much, ask what we need, and they will make a game-changing donation. Some day.

Adventure in Odyssey

We also got to do an Adventures in Odyssey show. We were not too familiar with that program, so the most embarrassing moment was when the producer asked us about one of the cardboard cut out characters on the show. It was a prop in the studio. None of us knew the character’s name. Embarrassing.

We wanted to do the show, which presumes we know something about the show. Oh, well. The producer was a bit surprised, as in, why are you here if you don’t know anything about us?

Anyhow, the show we did was great. It was also good to see how the team produced a program, the sound effects, the set-up, etc. It was all good.

Speaking of not being familiar with their ministry, I was putting pics of Whit’s End on Instagram. I hashtagged it “whits-inn.” I thought it was “inn” instead of “end.” Fortunately, you can edit Instagram.

The Takeaway

My top three takeaways from being there were,

  1. Gratitude for how the Lord has used this ministry.
  2. Seeing the facility, which is a solid representation of how Christianity should look to the world, i.e., professional, happy, clean, and not weird.
  3. Wondering what we need to do to redefine ourselves, so our ministry does not lose traction.

The last takeaway about “redefinition” is something I think about all the time. K-Mart, Blockbuster, and Radio Shack have disappeared from the corporate landscape. Our ministry will go that way too if we are not evolving (or redefining ourselves).

I have been praying for my replacement since the first day of this ministry. I believe in what the Lord is doing with our work and would like to see it advance into the future, long after I go to heaven. Being aware of how to connect with an ever-changing culture without compromising the gospel is vital for redefinition.

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About RickThomasNet

Rick Thomas leads a training network for Christians to assist them in becoming more effective soul care providers. RickThomas.Net reaches people around the world through consulting, training, podcasting, writing, counseling, and speaking. In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology, and 1991 he received a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). He also received certification from the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC). His organization is a training center for IABC.