Industry News

NRB 2021 Recap

NRB 2021 has come and gone. The NRB Christian Media Convention is the world’s largest gathering of Christian communicators and ministry professionals. NRB 2021 was held in Grapevine, Texas June 21-24. Attendees learned hands-on skills through a variety of keynotes, workshops, and panel discussions, with access to key insights and strategies from the largest Christian media companies in the world, and were able to network with thousands of fellow Christian communicators.

NRB 2021 officially kicked off on Monday with the opening session featuring Moody Bible Institute President Mark Jobe (at left) and journalist and television correspondent Paula Faris.

NRB hosted an evening worship service on Tuesday which led to a night of deep reflection, conviction, and worship among the thousands of Christian communicators at the convention. The event featured special speaker Dr. Tony Evans, President of the Urban Alternative and Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, as well as worship from the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship worship choir.  The choir was directed by Pastor Patrick Dopson, the pastor of worship at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.  

Dr. Ron Harris, Chairman of the NRB Board, introduced Evans as the founder of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and the first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Evans first spoke at an NRB conference in 1985 and received the NRB Hall of Fame Award in 2019.

In the span of almost 3 years, he lost a sister, brother, brother-in-law, father, and wife. His daughter also battled cancer, resulting in a surgery to remove her left lung. All of which, he said, “shook his world.” When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Evans said that it “turned his ministry world upside down.” He then contracted pneumonia followed by COVID-19, both of which were threats to his life. However, Evans said that God had a purpose in his suffering and for the trials all Christians will face. 

“When my world and your world are turned inside out, we are not to dismiss it. Scripture would have us know…God is talking,” Evans said.

Troy Miller, CEO of NRB, closed out the event visibly moved by Evans’ message.

“Dr. Evans has called us out and called us to task,” Miller said. “We need to go away, changed, different, and renewed. Let’s be set apart, keeping the voice of the church—the bride of Christ— loud in this culture.” 

Wednesday at NRB 2021 was full of sessions with special guests including Joel C. Rosenberg, the Robertsons from Duck Dynasty, and “The Chosen.” The day started with a breakfast honoring Israel hosted by the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Joel C. Rosenberg, editor-in-chief of All Israel News and All Arab News spoke at the breakfast, and Joshua Aaron played and sang Israeli worship music.

Dan Darling, Senior Vice President of Communications at NRB, led the morning devotional focused on the power of words in a digital age.

“We should be quick to get the whole story, slow to post, and slow to rage,” Darling said. “What’s happening online is not the whole story.”

Darling talked about the opportunity and calling that communicators have to reflect the glory of God.

“One of the signs that we are made in the image of God is that we communicate and reflect a God who communicates,” Darling said.

The afternoon featured Phil and Jase Robertson from Duck Dynasty for a live recording of their 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.

Day 3 of NRB ended with the ICVM Crown Awards ceremony. The Crown Awards recognize excellence in the production and content of films and videos that are created to reflect Christian values. Comedian Michael Jr. hosted the event.

The last day of NRB 2021 featured former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (at right), interviewed by Joel Rosenberg, a panel discussion on Christian unity, and a closing gala with keynote speaker, Os Guinness. 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.”

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.

After 40 years of being part of NRB, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ron Harris (at left) announced he will move to a role on the newly created Board of Governors. With all the threats to Christian media and free speech for Christians, Ron says, NRB is needed now more than ever.

Earlier this year, NRB announced the recipients of the 2021 NRB Media Awards, recognizing the most outstanding ministries, organizations, and programs/producers in the world’s largest association of Christian communicators.

The Radio Station of the Year award is presented to a radio station that is innovative, locally focused, and effectively impacts its market through community service, promotions and marketing, outreach, ratings, and/or other means. This year’s Radio Station of the Year award goes to KCBI/Dallas. (pictured)

“We are always amazed about how God is using the ministry of 90.9 KCBI,” a station spokesperson said. “This year, we sought to minister to listeners

 frightened and bewildered as the coronavirus pandemic swept not just the DFW community, but the world.”

The Radio Program of the Year award is presented to a radio program that impacts listeners by being compelling, relevant, informative, personable, and entertaining, while demonstrating an authentic Christian faith. This year’s Radio Program of the Year award recipient is Richard Ellis Talks.

“Radio is the vehicle, our website and popular social media provide the interior comfort, but there is no doubt that Richard is the Ferrari engine,” a ministry spokesperson said. “His endless enthusiasm and creativity constantly drives the ministry to uncharted and uncommon territory.”

The Radio Impact Award is presented to a person, station, program, network, or ministry that has illustrated over time a consistent and unique impact within the Christian radio industry and/or to the Body of Christ as a whole. This year, Insight for Living is received the Radio Impact award.

Since 1979, Insight for Living Ministries (Chuck Swindoll) has faithfully broadcast God’s Word. Their commitment to excellence includes communicating the truths of Scripture and the person of Jesus Christ in an accurate, clear, and practical manner. The ministry’s goal is for men and women around the world to have their lives transformed through hearing the gospel, receiving God’s amazing grace, and learning to become spiritually self-sustaining disciples.

It was a packed house as KCBI/Dallas, held its 7th annual Ministry Impact Reception at the NRB Convention 2021. KCBI honored two teaching partners with the 2021 KCBI Ministry Impact Award: Focus on the Family’s Rob Kirkpatrick and Brian Krause received the award on behalf of Jim Daly and John Fuller. KCBI honored Focus for its quick pivot last spring, serving listeners with timely, practical, biblically based information in the early, confusing days of the coronavirus pandemic.

KCBI then honored Dr. Tony Evans, Founder, President and Host of The Urban Alternative, (at left w/Matt Austin) who was on hand to receive the award. Dr. Evans used his trusted voice to bring biblical clarity to listeners in DFW and around the nation as they grappled with a summer marred by social unrest and the pandemic. “We are thrilled to honor these two long-standing ministry partners for going above and beyond and adapting quickly when the need was so great,” said KCBI’s Matt Austin, General Manger and Vice President for Operations.

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