In order to sponsor someone on The Walk to Emmaus, a person must first have been on The Walk itself.  A sponsor should also be active in Fourth Day.  Having been through the experience and being engaged in ongoing spiritual formation through Fourth Day gives one perspective on how to sponsor.  Your local community may require specific training in order to be a sponsor, so be sure to inquire about such requirements from the Community Lay Director.

     Beyond these requirements, the basic attitude of a sponsor is one of prayerful discernment.  This results in intentional acts of unconditional love, or what is ofter termed "the first act of agape'.

     Sponsorship can be unwise or wise.  Unwise sponsorship results from unbridled enthusiasm that wants everyone to have the same experience.  Sponsors with unbridled enthusiasm approach anybody and everybody with the admonition that "you need to go on the Walk', and that open invitation is the primary and sometimes the only emphasis.  This approach lacks discernment and will result in a burden for the church.  Such efforts in sponsorship frequently result in religious fringe groups within the church or possible a parachurch of "Emmausites".  While the individual being sponsored may benefit, that individul does not go back into the church to foster growth and renewal.  The lack of commitment at this point is contrary to the purpose of Emmaus. 

     Wise sponsorship is careful, intentional, prayerful, and purposeful because it results from God's leading.  The pilgrims return to their churches and community renewed in their commitment to be effective disciples.

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