en•core (on´kôr) n. An additional performance in response to the demand of an audience.
So, what do you do for an encore after you captained your college tennis team, earned a Ph.D. in child development, taught as professor of pediatrics in a medical school for 14 years, produced a film series on the family seen by 80 million, served on 4 commissions by presidential appointment, founded a family ministry that grew to 1,400 employees, hosted over 8,000 radio programs that eventually developed a daily audience of 200 million people in 160 countries, written over 30 books, and accepted induction into the Radio Hall of Fame? If you're Dr. James Dobson, you keep on speaking, counseling, advocating, interviewing guests, and writing books--all in support of families.
I recently asked Dr. James Dobson how he decided to produce an encore to this lifetime of leadership and creative work He did not hesitate. "Shirley and T did what we always do. We prayed about it. I talked with my friends, and I came to understand that God wasn't finished with me yet." He then said, "My work isn't done. The family is the foundation for civilization. It is God's plan, and it is under attack." "Consider," he told me, "the forces arrayed against the family: drugs, alcohol, pornography, abortion, violent video games, infidelity, efforts to re-define marriage, and, even, diminished respect for religious liberty. There is so much to do, and I am going to keep on trying to help."
So, on May 3, 2010, Dr. Dobson was back on the air, five days a week, with an entirely new ministry called Family Talk. It was the largest nationwide launch in Christian broadcasting history, and it included not only terrestrial radio but the internet and podcasts. In 2012, "Dr. Dobson's Family Talk" will also become available on Sirius Satellite Radio. These programs are cohosted by Luanne Crane, who had worked with Dr. Dobson for 26 years, before joining Family Talk as the Vice President of Broadcasting; and by his son, Ryan Dobson, Family Talk's Vice President of New Media.
Dr. Dobson's interests remain wide. This year alone, Family Talk's flagship program has addressed diverse topics offering helpful advice for families including: the first year of marriage, budgeting, loss of employment, dealing with stress, father-daughter communications, children's fears, special needs children, miscarriage, romance, infidelity, and widowhood. Dr. Dobson has interviewed public figures, Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Michelle Bachman, talking about their faith and family; Archbishop William Lori, chair of the Religious Liberty Committee for the American Bishops and Prof. Robert George of Princeton talking about the threats to religious liberty; biographer Eric Metaxas talking about Dietrich Bonhoeffer; and evangelist Ann Graham Lotz talking about the "hope of heaven." He aired three programs in tribute to his good friend, the late Charles Colson.
Family Talk also provides "Solid Answers" and practical family advice on its website, drjamesdobson.org; and live counseling and prayer support for listeners who call in. One of its most exciting projects is called, "The Doctor's In." Depending on donor support, this program, modeled after "Web MD," will make Dr. Dobson's advice and counsel contained in over 8,000 radio programs and over 30 books available to families by topic.
Becky Lane, Family Talk's Vice President of General Management, who has worked with Dr. Dobson for nine years said, "this man is a whirlwind. He really has been called to celebrate and strengthen American families. Those of us working closest with him get exhausted just trying to keep up with just a portion of what he is doing." It is so. In addition to his Family Talk work, Dr. Dobson is producing a reprise of his massively successful video series from 1978 by taping an eight-part DVD series called, "Dr. James Dobson Presents Building a Family Legacy."?