NRB 2021 was a jam-packed week full of sessions, events, networking, and worship as over 3,300 Christian communicators gathered in Grapevine, Texas. NRB 2021 officially kicked off on Monday evening, June 21 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center with the opening session featuring Mark Jobe and Paula Faris, but the convention center was buzzing long before then.
To begin the week, NRB hosted its Annual Membership Meeting and Board Meeting and elected a new Executive Committee and Board of Directors class. At the Media Awards Luncheon, NRB recognized 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 NRB 2021 here.
In the opening session, Mark Jobe, President of Moody Bible Institute, 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.
Paula Faris, journalist, author, and podcaster, also spoke at the opening session, telling her story of working as a secular broadcaster, sharing what she learned during that time, and discussing what it means for Christian communicators to have purpose—a calling. 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.
NRB 2021 included several discussions on religious liberty. Kristen Waggoner, General Counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, moderated a panel with Jack Phillips, Owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and Dr. Jerry Davis, President of College of the Ozarks, where they discussed the human cost to denying religious liberty.
“If you use your platform to stand up for Jesus Christ, you really have nothing to lose,” Phillips said.
David Closson, Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, moderated a religious liberty panel with Waggoner; Kelly Shackelford, President, CEO, and Chief Counsel of First Liberty Institute; Brad Dacus, President and Founder of Pacific Justice Institute; and Star Parker, Founder and President of The Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), primarily discussing how to safeguard religious liberty for Christian organizations and nonprofits.
Tony Evans, President of The Urban Alternative, and Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Worship led a powerful night of worship at NRB 2021.
“When God wants to uproot the ordinary and bring about the extraordinary, he shakes things up,” Evans said. “When God decided that we have become too comfortable, he shakes things up.”
Evans challenged Christian communicators to pursue unity and live faithfully according to Scripture in all things.
NRB 2021 also featured a live recording of Phil and Jase Robertson’s podcast “Unashamed.” Also included on the podcast was Al Robertson and Zach Dasher, CEO of Tread Lively Entertainment and Phil’s nephew. Attendees got to sit in as the Robertsons took listeners “beyond the four walls of the church to share God’s word” in a relatable and authentic way.
“God is not ashamed to call us sons and daughters. We’re not ashamed of Him because despite our baggage and crap in our life, God is not ashamed of us—that’s why he sent Jesus,” Jase Robertson said. “For me, that’s my motivation for being out loud and proud—he’s out loud and proud for me.”
“The Chosen” hosted a special event to premiere episode six of season two of the series. Over 1,300 fans of “The Chosen” filled the room with excited energy as they watched the episode premiere and heard from Derral Eves, Executive Producer of “The Chosen,” and Dallas Jenkins, creator of “The Chosen.”
The last day of NRB 2021 featured former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, interviewed by Joel Rosenberg, a panel discussion on Christian unity, and a closing gala with keynote speaker, Os Guinness.
The main session of the morning featured a conversation with former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and Joel C. Rosenberg, best-selling author and editor-in-chief of All Israel News. A lot has happened in the Middle East over the last several years and nobody has been at the center of these developments more than Pompeo. In this special session, Rosenberg interviewed the former Secretary of State and CIA director about Israel, the Abraham Accords, and the state of the Middle East. They also discussed important developments in international religious freedom.
NRB 2021 concluded on Thursday evening with a closing gala dinner with special service awards. Dr. Os Guinness gave the keynote address at the gala, calling Christians to faithfulness and urging Christian communicators to share the message of truth to a desperately needy world.
“We are those who know words matter,” Guinness said. “A word created the world, and words can still create worlds of justice and beauty and peace.”
NRB CEO Troy Miller closed the evening clearly excited about an incredible week at NRB 2021. He said that the networking, workshops, and worship were great, but that there was something even better about NRB 2021.
“All of that boils down to one thing: we are here to be a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are here for the kingdom of God,” Miller said. “If what we are doing is not advancing God’s kingdom, then we need to stop what we’re doing.”
In addition to these featured sessions, the convention exhibit hall was open Tuesday through Thursday of the convention. The exhibit hall buzzed with people and featured a number of talks and workshops for attendees.
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.
NRB 2022 will be held in Nashville, Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center on March 8-11. Stay tuned for more information and details on how to register for the best prices.