It’s that time again. When our little town of 7000 swells to over 50,000 people for an entire week. This is the 71st Annual Old Time Fiddler’s Convention, the oldest and largest mountain music convention in the world. Over 1100 campers will setup in Felts Park and contestants will come from all over the world to compete in Bluegrass Music, Old-Time Music, and Dance.
But what does it mean for the church? Traditionally, most churches want nothing to do with the crowd. Too much drinking, too much partying, too many non-Christians, and too many Christians acting like the world. To me it kind of sounds like a place that Jesus would like to be. Right in the middle telling about the coming Kingdom of God, preaching repentance, offering forgiveness, showing love.
Our church youth will be helping run a Vacation Bible School for the children who are camping in the park. We do this because this is an incredible mission field, even if it is in our own backyard. Last year over 1100 campers were in the park. There’s not a lot for kids to do during the day, so this is an ideal time to build relationship and tell them about the message of the Gospel. Pray that we will use this time as a challenge to be more bold in our faith, and learn the importance of not overlooking opportunities all around us. Let’s not only engage the culture, let’s confront it with the truth of Christ!!!
Before the second weekend in August each year, lovers of country and mountain music leave their homes in time to be in Galax, VA for the Annual Old Fiddler’s Convention. For some this means hundreds of miles of travel, while for others it will be a short trip from their nearby homes. Most of these people don’t play music, and come just for the listening and renewing old acquaintances.
However, a few hundred come with their instruments to show their skill, and compete for the cash prizes which total thousands of dollars. But most of them would come without the prizes being offered. They want to see and be seen, and hear and be heard. The instruments vary from mouth harps in pockets to bull fiddles strapped on top of cars.
A unique aspect of the convention is the camping area where the musicians rehearse and try to get in tune. Some listeners and onlookers follow these bands around and lose contact with what’s happening on the stage. Often dancers and players try out their abilities in the parking lot when they would not dare go on the stage.