Responsibilities of the Sponsor

Taken from the Upper Room Emmaus Handbook
Our Biblical Basis: Luke 24: 13 – 35

1. Spend concentrated time in prayer in an effort to discern whom God wants you to sponsor. The whole weekend experience leads pilgrims to desire a reordering of priorities, to understand and experience God’s grace within a community of believers, and to be drawn into deeper discipleship by the Holy Spirit.

2. Meet with the potential pilgrim and share with them some of the aspects of the walk: This may be an appropriate point to address the issue of secrecy. One of the worst mistakes made by those of us who have attended the Emmaus Walk is to be too secretive about what happens on a Walk. The Upper Room Handbook on Emmaus states “There is nothing secret about Emmaus.” When your prospective pilgrim asks you a specific question, you should always give an honest and truthful answer. Chances are they aren’t going to think to ask you about Candlelight or Dying Moments, but if they do, you should not try to deceive them. It would be better to tell them more than necessary than to be too secretive.

3. Tell your pilgrim about the format of the weekend: There will be fifteen talks, group discussions, and time for fellowship. It’s fine to tell them about the type of food served, communion, and the sleeping accommodations. They will be with people they don’t know, but in a short time they’ll become a close-knit community. This experience will demonstrate the love of God and Christian fellowship. Hopefully, this will help to set their minds at ease. Also tell them about Reunion Groups and how they can help to encourage them in further spiritual growth. After the walk, it is your responsibility to help them find a reunion group.

4. After you have answered all questions, give your prospect an application. (Registration forms can be downloaded from our website). Be sure to explain the application. If you have a pamphlet or book on Emmaus, give this to your pilgrim. Please note. If prospective pilgrim is married and spouse has not been on an Emmaus Walk or does not want to go on the Emmaus Walk you must send a letter from the pilgrim’s pastor giving the reasons the spouse is unwilling or unable to attend. We do not want the Walk to Emmaus to be the cause of any marital difficulties.

5. It is the sponsor’s responsibility to advise the registrar of any changes such as change of address, phone number or desire to attend the Walk and any medical problems the pilgrim may have not mentioned.

6. Begin preparations to request the personal agape letters; approximately 12 LETTERS are needed. Please be sure to get letters from family, good friends, and clergy. Please mark the letters with their first and last name. If you have more than 12, give the extra to the pilgrim after closing.

7. A few days before The Walk event, contact your pilgrim as a reminder about the upcoming Walk. Offer guidance about what to pack for the weekend. There are guidelines in the letters sent to each pilgrim.

8. Get your pilgrim to sendoff between 6:30 – 6:45 p.m., and assist with check in. Remain with your pilgrim through send-off, introducing him or her to others. Following send-off, the sponsor is expected to attend sponsor’s hour. At this time you have the opportunity to pray for your pilgrim. Spend as much time as possible in prayer for your pilgrim. Be a part of the 72-hour prayer vigil. During the 72 hours check on your pilgrim’s family to provide necessary assistance.

9. Attend the Saturday communion/ candlelight service and take any additional agape letters you have collected. Ensure they do not contain gifts. Any letters containing gifts will NOT be given to the pilgrim. Be at closing. Get the new member to the gathering after the walk and introduce him/her to others in the Emmaus community.

10 Teach the new Emmaus member how to be a good sponsor and be sure he/she understands the responsibilities of good sponsorship. Tell the pilgrim how to serve the Emmaus community in future Walks. If you are not sure, ask a board member.