Sponsorship is one of the most significant parts of The Walk To Emmaus. Sponsorship requires far-reaching prayer, attentive thought, and watchful planning and follow-through.
As sponsors, you need to follow the scriptural principles of praying, being open to God, and calling people by name to attend The Walk. Remember that The Walk is not for everyone.
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Walk to Emmaus Responsibilities of Sponsorship
Good sponsorship involves many tasks that must be completed. The following list includes the minimum items that are to be completed by the sponsor. Below that is a checklist. Use the checklist as a quick reference for some of these responsibilities. Your perseverance in these details is critical to your new Pilgrim’s Emmaus experience. Remember that sponsorship does not end with the weekend, but continues into your Pilgrim’s Fourth Day.
- Pray—A sponsor’s first responsibility is to spend considerable time in prayer in an effort to discern whom God wants you to sponsor. Once discerned, spend more time in prayer as to opportunities to present Walk To Emmaus materials and opportunities to them. Consider the “Guidelines for New Pilgrim Selection” as part of your prayers.
- Remember that the weekend is intended for both members of a married couple. Speak with each of them; don’t rely on one spouse to recruit the other.
- Explain to the new Pilgrim that the Walk to Emmaus is a short course in Christian discipleship.
- Describe the talks, experiences of communion and prayer, good food, singing, and fellowship.
- Have the new Pilgrim fill out the Pilgrim information section on an application and return it to you.
- Personally take the responsibility for getting their pastor’s signature, then mail the application to the Registrar. The address is at the top of the sponsor form.
- The fee should be included with the application. Make checks payable to: Oceanside Emmaus.
- Call a week prior to the weekend as a reminder of what to bring and how the weekend will progress.
- Take your Pilgrim to dinner the evening of The Walk starting and assist with check-in on site. Remain with your pilgrim until he/she is called to start The Walk.
- Be part of the 72-hour prayer vigil.
- Check in daily the pilgrim’s family to provide reassurance and support.
- Contact friends and relatives of the Pilgrim, and ask them to write agape.
- Make sure the Pilgrim’s spouse knows you or a friend are available if they need anything while their spouse is away at the Walk. You can help with childcare, or any other needs they may have over the weekend. Let them know that you love and care for them.
- You are required to personally pickup and take your Pilgrim to the Walk on Thursday evening. Some sponsors take their Pilgrims out to dinner beforehand.
- Attend Send-off and Sponsors prayer service (Thursday night), Candlelight (Saturday), and Closing (Sunday). Afterwards take your pilgrim home
- Bring your new Pilgrim(s) to the follow-up meeting and next gathering so they can stay connected with the friends they have made, and hear the Sponsorship talk. Assist them with their own sponsorship efforts.
Guidelines for New Pilgrim Selection
Please prayerfully consider the following questions when considering someone as a potential new Pilgrim. These questions and notes will help you decide if a person is ready for the Walk to Emmaus and will persevere in their Fourth Day discipleship.
- Is the person a (baptized) Christian?
- Can you talk to this person about Jesus Christ?
- Is the person in good health? (If a pregnant woman, not more than 7 months pregnant?) Someone for whom the Walk weekend will not be a physical hardship?
- Is the person mentally and emotionally stable? Is there stress evident, i.e., a recent divorce, death, or illness that might interfere with their Walk experience?
- Is the person a mature, responsible adult of at least 21 years of age?
- Is the person someone who is respected and has a positive impact on those around them?
- Is the person someone who will work to improve their environment by bringing Christ into their work, home, church and society-at-large?
- Is the person open to living in Christian community and fellowship?
- It would not be appropriate to sponsor someone who is cohabitating with another person.
Post Walk to Emmaus Responsibility of Sponsor
Once the Walk is over, there are further responsibilities for the sponsor.
- Stay in contact with your new Pilgrim(s) after the Walk.
- Bring your new Pilgrim(s) to the follow-up meeting and their first community gathering so they can stay connected with the friends they have made, and hear the Sponsorship talk. Assist them with their own sponsorship efforts.
- Offer to work an upcoming Walk with your Pilgrim. It can be a lot easier for someone to come back and work a Walk weekend if they know their friend will be working with them on the same team.
- Explain the Fourth Day opportunities, Gatherings and Reunion Groups offered by the community and help your new Pilgrim stay connected.
- Information has been given to my new Pilgrim about the weekend –
- What the weekend is all about; what to expect
- What to bring; comfortable clothes, personal care items, toiletries, etc.
- Sleeping arrangements
- Transportation to and from the weekend arranged
- Application –
- Fully completed in a timely manner
- Copy made
- Original sent to Registrar along with $100 deposit
- My Agape – Prayers, special intentions, fasting, etc. What will I do?
- Written Agape & Gifts –
- My own for the Pilgrim
- From new Pilgrim’s family and friends
- My own for team members
- Special help my Pilgrim may need –
- House sitter
- Support of spouse in my new Pilgrims absence
- Other needs __________________________________
- Attendance at special events –
- Thursday 8 PM meet to pray for Pilgrims
- Saturday PM at Candlelight
- Sunday afternoon at Closing
- First gathering after the Walk
- The Fourth Day –
- Contact with the new Pilgrim shortly after the Walk
- Find out the date of the next Gathering, and attend with new Pilgrim
- Invite the new Pilgrim to work a Walk with you
- Meet with Reunion Group Chair, if assistance is needed in locating a Reunion Group
- Review of Service Sheet with new Pilgrim
- Continued prayers for the new Pilgrim
- Assist the new Pilgrim in their own sponsorship efforts