“This year, we have a really strong sense of God speaking to us as a team and as a festival,” said Easterfest director Dave Schenk. “We thought it was worthwhile to try and capture that as an official theme.”
While Easterfest is ultimately about Easter, Dave said such a broad subject can result in mixed messages.
“Having a theme helps us to focus and shape our messaging and creative content,” he said.
The hope is that people who come to the festival feel like there is a clear focus and message over the weekend.
The theme of crazy love was inspired by the book The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning, which Dave read in one sitting over a weekend late last year.
“The author had an incredible revelation of just how intense the love of God is towards us,” said Dave.
The book had a profound impact on Dave.
“We break God’s heart time and time again,” he said. “But if we come back to Him, He completely forgives us and utterly abandons Himself again, knowing full well that we will break His heart again.”
“That is insane love by human standards, and that’s how we came up with the theme of crazy love.”
Throughout the Easterfest weekend, the theme will be reflected in a lot of the creative elements of the festival. It will also be the focus of the morning worship sessions, the 72 hours of worship at the Empire Theatre Church, and the church services across the city.
“Hopefully, the most powerful expression of the crazy love theme at Easterfest won’t be the clever and creative things we do, but it will actually be in the atmosphere of people loving each other,” said Dave.
“Nowhere in the Bible does it say the world will know you are my disciples by your awesome lighting show or your big name artists or your fancy tents.”
“While we do all of that stuff really well and as a result get the attention of the world, what we want them to really see, if they were to look behind the scenes, are people who genuinely love each other and love them.”
A few years ago Dave was talking to a non-Christian caterer working at the festival.
“He said this was the only festival where he brings his entire family instead of hiring staff.”
Looking around the festival, the caterer told Dave, “if our kids and grand kids were to grow up like these people, we’d be pretty happy with that.”
“He saw something different and wanted it for his family,” said Dave. “A seed was planted because he saw people loving each other.”
“If, for just a few days, the world looks at something like Easterfest and sees that Christians and Churches can be one – because God’s crazy love flows to us and out of us – that is what will make the biggest impact.”