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.
The Upper Room Handbook on Emmaus (21) lists three aspects of good sponsorship:
- It is “the first act of agape” before a Walk ever begins.
- It under-girds the whole weekend “with sacrificial love on behalf of each Pilgrim.”
- It is the foundation for a healthy, effective Emmaus Movement, which results in the renewal of the church.
Here is a list of sponsorship responsibilities:
- Prayer—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.
- Make an appointment to visit with the potential pilgrims.
- Give the prospect an application and ask them to prayerfully consider your offer of sponsorship.
- Obtain and submit the completed application. Ask your pilgrim to hold open the dates for the weekend.
- Begin preparations to request personal agape letters for your pilgrim.
- 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 with the pilgrim’s family to provide reassurance and support.
- Attend the Saturday night candlelight service.
- Attend the Sunday evening closing service and take your pilgrim home.
- Take your pilgrim to the Fourth Day Dinner and their first Gathering. Help them find and participate in weekly reunion meetings.
- Finally, teach the new Emmaus member how to be a good sponsor by understanding these responsibilities.