NRB 2021 officially kicked off on Monday at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center with the opening session featuring Mark Jobe and Paula Faris at 7 p.m., but the convention center was buzzing long before then.
On-site registration for the event opened up on Sunday morning and began again on Monday morning as attendees began to arrive. The day began with a morning devotion and prayer as well as with a brief convention orientation where attendees heard from NRB CEO Troy Miller and some committee chairs as well as had the opportunity to ask questions regarding this week’s convention.
At the Press Center, which will be open each day of the convention, people began recording interviews and writing stories. As Christian communicators from all over the country—and even the world—gather together under one roof, the press center is the ideal space both for those who want their story told and for those looking for compelling stories to tell.
To begin the week, NRB hosted its annual membership meeting and board meeting and held its Media Awards Luncheon. The Media Awards Luncheon recognizes the recipients of the 2021 Church Media, Digital Media, International, Radio, and TV Industry awards. Learn more about this year’s awards recipients and how NRB honored them at this year’s convention here.
International attendees and attendees whose organizations have an international outreach were invited to the Great Commission Reception for a time of fellowship before the Great Commission Forum. The Great Commission Forum is the venue for U.S.-based communicators to find out what God is doing around the world and to meet the ministries that they can partner with to expand their ministry’s reach. Dr. Ron Cline, founder of the World by 2000 campaign, and Rita El-Mounayer, CEO of Sat-7, spoke at this event, casting a vision for the Great Commission and highlighting how Christian media has grown from shortwave radio to digital media and impacted every corner of the world from the 1980’s to today.
NRB’s official kickoff with the Opening Session was the main event of the day. In this session, Texas Governor Gregg Abbot welcomed attendees.
“Keep up the great work, and together we can ensure a brighter future for generations of Christian communicators to come,” Abbot said.
Miller introduced the speakers and musicians for the evening—Mark Jobe, President of Moody Bible Institute, Paula Faris, journalist, author, and podcaster, and The Erwins, recording artist at Stowtown Records. Dr. Ron Harris, Chairman of the Board of NRB spoke to the significance of NRB and called on all Christian communicators to trust the Lord.
Jobe discussed the changing cultural and media landscape and what that means for Christian communicators today.
“We have more opportunity to share the Gospel more than ever before, but we cannot miss the moment,” Jobe said.
Faris told her story of working as a secular broadcaster, shared what she learned during that time, and discussed what it means for Christian communicators to have purpose—a calling.
“I confused my calling and my purpose with my job,” Faris said.
But when she remembered that her calling was to glorify God, not make a name for herself, it changed the way she lived and worked.
“Let’s shine our light, let’s share our love, and let’s show our unwavering purpose,” Faris said.
The opening session was immediately followed by a session with actor Dennis Quaid highlighting the making of “Reagan.” In this session, special guest Dennis Quaid gave a sneak peak of the making of the biographical movie, “Reagan.” This much-anticipated movie is set to release in 2022.
In the film, Quaid plays Ronald Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, and he closed the first night at NRB 2021 by discussing what it was like to portray President Reagan in this production.