Swedish photographer Ake Lundberg took me in tow at my first NRB, the yearly convention of Christian communicators held in the 1970's in Washington, D.C. And it was amazing--he seemed to know everybody!
As the official photographer for Billy Graham's Decision magazine, Ake had already traveled to many countries. Now he and I had just joined the Luis Palau evangelistic team.
Walking through the convention halls, this tall, affable friend with his permanent smile, greeted one person after another, and always took the time to introduce me to his friends.
That small courtesy offered to a raw beginner like me, was priceless. My only media experience had been several years working at a Spanish language short-wave radio station in California. I was totally out of my league in the larger realm of Christian media.
That's when Ake stepped in to expand my world. He connected me with managers and announcers, directors and engineers, singers and preachers, people who were visionary, entrepreneurial and professional. Many are still my friends to this day.
There's no way to measure the enormous value of these connections for my life and my work. These friends then introduced me their friends, and over the years they have expanded my perspective on Christian media and the task the Lord has placed in our hands. We have shared experiences, prayed for each other, and even worked on projects together, such as the founding of COICOM, the Latin American equivalent of NRB, in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in 1992.
Since that first NRB convention in the 1970's, I have attended dozens of Christian communicator events in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. They always inspire me. They always produce new friendships. They always serve to advance the Kingdom of God.
But I will never forget where it all began, through Ake's simple courtesy of connecting me with his friends. Now I make a point of doing the same for other first-timers at events like NRB, COICOM and ComunicadoresUSA. It doesn't require special talent--anyone can do it. But only God knows the impact that these personal relationships can have in the life and mission of a Christian communicator.
Stan Jeter is President of CNI Institute, Inc., Chairman of the International Board of Directors of COICOM, Founder and Chairman of ComunicadoresUSA, Director of the Global News Alliance, and founder of CBN News' weekly shows Christian World News and Mundo Cristiano.
Here's an article I first wrote for COICOM, the Latin American association of Christian communicators. Stan Jeter