It's been a week now since the final interview at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in the Faith Radio/Meeting House booth in the exhibit hall, and I wanted to take some time to report to you about what I experienced. Perhaps you've already heard some of the fabulous conversations that took place at the booth - I will continue to feature those on the radio show.
I think that one of the dominant themes of the convention was adherence to Biblical truth. From the opening strains of Del Tackett of the Truth Project and Jim Garlow of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, there were words of encouragement to be rooted and grounded in the Scriptures, and to be available to share spiritual truth, and as Pastor Garlow highlighted, to even be willing to reach out to those with whom you vehemently disagree, so that you can build a bridge to them, with the hope that you will be able to share your convictions based on God's truth. In my discussions with such public policy experts as Garlow, Tony Perkins, Matt Barber, and Penny Nance, I came to realize that it's important that we are willing to share these principles in the public square, and seek to not only influence the political process, but strive to be used of the Holy Spirit in the process of changing hearts. Absorption of truth brings heart change, and that will result in the change of attitudes and behavior - "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God". Changed hearts contribute to a change in the culture.
Another thread I observed at NRB was the challenge to use social media more effectively. Numerous educational sessions dealt with media ministries effectively using tools such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate their messages. I followed the NRB Convention staff's Twitter feed, joined NRB Facebook pages, and searched the hashtag #NRB2010. I even joined in on a "Tweetup" consisting of some of the people who were sending "tweets" from the convention, and it turned out to be a great time of fellowship and putting names and faces with the various sources of messages from NRB. Certainly, this type of emphasis on social media has provided some encouragement for me to seek new and more effective ways to interact with my listeners.
Finally, there was a distinct thread of concentration on Middle East events. I hosted Jimmy DeYoung of "Prophecy Today" and John Ankerberg of "The John Ankerberg Show" at my booth for a few moments, and they shared what they learned from writing the book, Israel Under Fire, and compiling footage for the TV show and their accompanying DVD series. Joel Rosenberg was on hand during the convention, as was Mosab Hasson Yousef, the son of the founder of the Hamas terrorist movement, who has become a Christian and details his experiences in the book, Son of Hamas.
Members of the Faith Radio team had the chance to meet representatives of Zion Oil and Gas, who are in the midst of drilling for oil in Israel, following Scriptural clues to unlock the potential for discovering petroleum in this region, which could have geopolitical and prophetic implications. Their activities were mentioned by David Jeremiah in one of his books, and Rosenberg highlighted the act of drilling in Israel in one of his fiction books - Zion representatives provided some fascinating conversations during the course of the convention.
The annual NRB Convention provides an opportunity to learn more about how God is at work through broadcast media, to tap into trends, to meet others in the Christian radio and broadcast industry, and from our booth, to gather material to be used on The Meeting House radio program. It was quite an informative and encouraging event!!
Billy Irvin, Faith Radio's Director of Ministry Relations, put together this video of highlights of our NRB experience.