A Sponsor's Responsibilities


The Upper Room Handbook on Emmaus states that “sponsorship is the most important job in Emmaus”.

“The strength of any Emmaus community is a direct result of that community’s recruiting practices”.  A sponsor commits to recruiting strong church leaders in order to strengthen the local church.

For the Walk to Emmaus to be effective, individual congregations must know how to use the program.  Emmaus is not a place where a local church sends its problem members to get them ‘straightened out,’ nor is it an evangelistic tool to ‘make new Christians.’  Emmaus is meant to strengthen church leaders...the Walk to Emmaus cannot do everything; instead it has narrowed its focus to the spiritual renewal of church leaders.  Our sole purpose in recruiting new Pilgrims should be the strengthening of our own congregations.

(Excerpted from Day Four: The Pilgrim’s Continued Journey, pages 50-51, emphasis added.)


  • PRAY about who you would like to present with the Emmaus information.  PRESENT THE INFORMATION and answer questions they may have.  Talk to him/her about Emmaus.  Share how Emmaus was helpful in your spiritual growth.  Tell your prospective pilgrim – and remember yourself – that Emmaus is simply one opportunity for spiritual growth.  Just because you thought it was great and that everyone should make a walk, it is NOT for everyone.  So prayerfully consider who you sponsor.
  • GET THE APPLICATION BACK.  Make sure ALL information is filled in, legible and correct!  Fill-in the sponsor information and submit the application with your check for the application fee.
  • Once your pilgrim has been accepted, begin requesting personal agape letters for your pilgrim.  This can be difficult if you do not know the names and addresses of their close family and friends.  You may need to ask the spouse for help.  If you do not know who to ask to help you get this information you can ask your pilgrim for a family/friend contact name and number in case an emergency arises, then ask that person to help get names and addresses of family and friends to write agape.
  • A few days before the Walk offer guidance about what to pack.  Provide positive encouragement and reassurance.
  • Take your pilgrim to the Walk and assist with check-in.  Arrive at 7 pm.  Remain with your pilgrim and introduce him/her to others.  After send-off attend Sponsor’s HourHour in the chapel.  At this time you have the opportunity to pray with other sponsors for your pilgrim and place his or her cross on the large cross.
  • Spend as much time in prayer for your pilgrim as possible.  Be part of the 72-hour Prayer Vigil (you can register for time slots at the link on the website).  When your pilgrim sees your name on the 72 hour Prayer Vigil chart it provides a special lift.
  • During the weekend check on your pilgrim’s family and provide any assistance needed.  If your pilgrim lives alone, you may need to check on pets or plants, pick up mail or take out trash.  If your pilgrim is married, offer to baby-sit so the spouse can shop or have some time alone.  A good sponsor does all these things in the spirit of cooperation and servanthood.
  • Attend the Candlelight service on Saturday night, starting at 8 pm.  This is another opportunity to support both your pilgrim and the Emmaus community.  Your presence and the example of personal sacrifice reinforce your commitment to your pilgrim.
  • Attend Closing, starting at 4 pm.  Your attendance at the closing on Sunday will encourage your pilgrim and you are expected to provide transportation home for your pilgrim as well.
  • Sponsors’ responsibilities do not end with closing.  You are to take your pilgrim to the Fourth Day follow-up meeting/gathering and assist him/her in joining a reunion group.  You may have to step forward and become part of a new reunion group in addition to your existing reunion group responsibilities.  This additional reunion group responsibility may continue for several months until the new group is well established.
  • Make sure your new Emmaus Community member gets to gatherings and introduce him/her to other members of the community.  Help the new member learn about Emmaus and the many opportunities to serve the Emmaus Community.
  • Finally— teach the new Emmaus member how to be a good sponsor

Only sponsor one person per Walk.  You cannot be a good sponsor if you are trying to do all the above for more than one person and his or her family.

Is all of this a little daunting?  Remember that God will empower you through the Holy Spirit, but if you still would like some earthly help, consider working with a co-sponsor.  To do so, please indicate his/her name on the application and have him/her sign the acknowledgement form that you will receive in the space provided.

How soon after a walk should you sponsor?  After closing you have just completed the 72 hour experience and you may be extremely enthusiastic.  This enthusiasm far exceeds knowledge and effectiveness of sponsoring.  It is advised that you wait for about a year before sponsoring someone.  This delay gives you ample time to learn about the complete Emmaus movement and to participate in Emmaus functions.