Day is the rest of your life. It is the continuation of your spiritual
journey after your Walk to Emmaus® is over.
Your weekend could be a pivotal
point in your spiritual journey or it could melt into a nice memory and
The Fourth Days - the
rest of your life - is a period of personal spiritual development...the
The Walk to Emmaus®
is not a retreat. Retreats are often annual events; you participate in
one Walk. Emmaus has a way to insure the fruits of the experience; retreats
The Fourth Day is the
post-Emmaus phase of your spiritual journey. It is the responsibility of
every Sponsor to guide their Pilgrim's initial 4th Day steps.
The Sponsor can help
keep a new Pilgrim from experiencing the Fourth Daze Syndrome...a
period of frustrating confusion that can follow an Emmaus weekend.
Follow these Steps:
Step 1: Attend Follow-Up.
The Sponsor should bring their Pilgrim to this first post-Emmaus meeting.
Step 2: Attend Reunion Group.
This is the most important step you will make in your Fourth Day journey!
The Pilgrim should attend the Sponsor's Reunion Group initially. The Sponsor
should make every effort to keep their Pilgrim active in a Reunion Group
throughout the 4th Days. Fellowship with other Christians is integral to
spiritual formation and maturity. Most Reunion Groups are Christians assisting
one another in prayer, study, action and worship. It has been observed that if
you aren't attending a Reunion Group, then you aren't "4th Daying".
If your schedule is too hectic, you have too many obligations,
you are homebound or have difficulty travelling (i.e. at night)
then consider forming or joining an E-Group.
Step 3: Attend Gatherings
and other Emmaus events. These are announced in the newsletter, Candlelights, Closings and at Follow-Ups.
Step 4: Faithfully attend
and participate in the life and leadership of your Church.
This is the primary purpose of the Walk to Emmaus: to develop Christian
leaders who will be effective in the life of their church.
Step 5: Boldly proclaim Christ
to the World.
At some point in your Fourth Day journey you may feel called to sponsor someone to attend the Mountain Top Walk to Emmaus®. You may desire your friends and family members to have the same experience you had. It may come as a surprise to learn that the Emmaus weekend is NOT intended for everyone. Also, no one else will experience the same "mountaintop" experience you had during your walk.
Sponsorship is assuming a lot more responsibility than merely completing the application form. Sponsors are responsible for many things before, during and after the weekend of the Walk. Hopefully you had a good model. The work of the sponsor should facilitate and enhance the whole Emmaus experience of an individual from the pre-Walk phase to well into their Fourth Day. Once you review the responsibilities of
a good sponsor you should realize that it is no exaggeration to claim
that the sponsor is as important to the success of a Pilgrim's
Emmaus experience as any weekend team member.
You should be a model of Fourth Day discipleship before sponsoring someone. You should be active in a Reunion Group and accountable to them for your piety, study, action and obtaining spiritual direction. You have the responsibility to introduce the individual to your Reunion Group after they have completed their Walk to Emmaus weekend.
You should be a recognized church leader active in your church and its ministry and mission. You should be involved in the support team during Emmaus weekends
and attend community Gatherings.
Good sponsorship begins with determining who to invite to the Mountain Top Walk to Emmaus®. Remember that Emmaus is about building Christian leaders - not about evangelism. Individuals to consider sponsoring to the Walk to Emmaus should already be active members involved in a Christian church and have a leadership role in their church such as Sunday school teacher or church committee member. Individuals who have recently experienced death in the family, divorce, or are the primary care givers of a terminal family member should be invited at a later time. The Walk to Emmaus® is not designed to address their needs. Persons who are marginal Christians or non-Christian should not be sponsored. The Walk to Emmaus® addresses issues of mature faith and assumes participants already have a relationship with Christ Jesus. As you can see, knowing these matters require more than a casual relationship with the individual. Remember to "make a friend, be a friend, then lead your friend to Jesus."
The next step is to pray about who God wants you to sponsor. Once an affirmation is received then fully understand and accept all of the responsibilities of sponsorship before an invitation is issued. Here are some Sponsor responsibilities:
Sponsors issue the invitation.
Sponsors explain the Walk to Emmaus® to the individual and spouse (if married).
Sponsors explain Follow-up, Reunion Group, and Gatherings to the individual.
Sponsors should guide the individual through the Mountain Top Emmaus website. (This
website has been designed to be a tool to help sponsors explain Emmaus.)
Sponsors communicate with the individual's Pastor about the Walk to Emmaus®.
Sponsors privately complete the confidential Sponsor sheet (Page 2) of the Application.
Sponsors mail the completed Application to the Registrar with the registration fee.
Sponsors pay the non-refundable registration fee for the individual as an agape.
Sponsors communicate with the Registrar regarding financial assistance needs.
Sponsors are available to address doubts or correct misunderstandings before a Walk.
Sponsors sign up for the 72-hour prayer vigil.
Sponsors have their Reunion Group prepare table agape.
Sponsors notify the Registrar immediately in case of a cancellation or postponement.
Sponsors bring the individual to the Send-off and attend the service that follows.
Sponsors are available to assist the individual's family needs throughout the weekend.
Sponsors serve the team crews as needed throughout the weekend.
Sponsors pray for the individual in prayer services and the prayer vigil.
Sponsors bring snack food, drinks, gifts, notes or letters for the individual.
Sponsors attend Candlelight.
Sponsors attend Closing and arrange to take the individual home after the weekend.
Sponsors bring the individual to the Follow-up after the weekend.
Sponsors introduce the individual to their Reunion Group after their weekend.
Sponsors assist the individual in finding and joining a Reunion Group.
Sponsors guide the individual through the process when they sponsor someone.
Some of the guide lines the board would like to remind everyone of are:
Sponsor no more than 2 pilgrims per household.
Your registration fee can only be moved twice with the same pilgrim, after that it is forfeited. It may not be transferred to someone else.
The Sponsor is responsible for their Pilgrim's family needs during the weekend.
Bring snack food & drink to sendoff...
...and each time you come to the Mountain during the weekend.
Letters are a very important part of the pilgrims weekend. Make sure you get them.
Sign up to participate in the 72 hour prayer vigil.
Make agape gifts, if at all possible.
Attend Candlelight to rise and pray for your pilgrim.
When you come to serve don’t ask your pilgrim "How are you doing?"
or "How is it going?", just let them know you love them.
Bring your pilgrim to the Follow Up after the weekend.
Introduce your pilgrim to the Reunion Group.
Bring your pilgrim to the Community Gathering.
Meet with and support your pilgrim throughout the Fourth Days.
Most important of all,
pray for your pilgrim and their family during the weekend!
Once you feel you can accept all of the responsibilities of sponsorship, then issue the invitation. The individual should be responsive to your invitation.
You should not become so insistent in your invitation that the individual agrees
to participate in the Walk to Emmaus® to get you "off their back". Take
special care in your invitation to clergy. Your pastor has already made a lifetime
commitment to serve our Lord Jesus and has studied scripture and theology.
True, your pastor may benefit from "going to the well", but also be aware that
your pastor is not likely to learn anything new at the Walk to Emmaus®. Many
pastors participate in the Walk to Emmaus® to determine if and how Emmaus
may enable ministry in the congregations they serve. Under no circumstances should
anyone, especially pastors, feel forced to participate in the Walk to Emmaus®.
One question that often gets voiced is, "How much can I tell someone about
the Walk to Emmaus?" The answer is tell someone as much as you want.
There may be wisdom in saving a surprise - but Emmaus has no "secrets".
You may want to show someone this Mountain Top Walk to Emmaus®
website designed to be useful to help explain Emmaus to someone.
After this it is time to help your applicant fill out their sheet of the Application form.
Then privately complete your confidential Sponsor's sheet. Each application must
have the completed Sponsor's sheet sent in with it. Even when you are sponsoring
two pilgrims, each application must have its own Sponsor sheet sent in with it. If the
Sponsor sheet is not included with the Application sheet, the application is not
complete and cannot be processed. Please take care to make sure all address
and contact information is complete, correct and legible. This is the source of the
pilgrim information distributed at the conclusion of the weekend. Remember,
Sponsors pay the non-refundable Registration fee and mail it to the Registrar
attached to the Applicant's and Sponsor's pages of the completed Application.
Sponsors who follow these guidelines should avoid most common delays in the
Sponsorship offers many rewards and blessings. One of the most significant
is the hope of making a Christian friend for life - a friend and companion
to be with you on the Fourth Day journey down the Emmaus Road.
BEING A GOOD SPONSOR
From the Mountain Top Walk to Emmaus Board of Directors
• Genuine sponsorship begins with prayer. Pray about sponsoring a specific person before inviting him or her to attend a Walk. The first thing a sponsor should consider is the prospective pilgrim. Do not sponsor pilgrims you do not know or with whom you have not discussed the Walk to Emmaus before inviting him or her to attend. The Walk to Emmaus is designed to develop strong Christian leaders within a church congregation.
There are several qualities a prospective pilgrim should have:
• The person should already be committed to a growing relationship with God and be willing to grow and move forward in their personal journey of faith. That is to say the person should be a Christian.
• The person should be involved in church and have a Christian fervor!
• The person may need an awareness of God’s grace rekindled and a spiritual experience that helps renew commitments to and relationships with God.
• The prospective pilgrim should not be in the midst of emotional or spiritual crisis in his or her life. This may not be a good time for a pilgrim to focus on God’s message during a walk weekend.
Other issues that should be considered and prayed about include:
• The Walk to Emmaus is not for non-Christians, or for those persons needing to defend unique beliefs outside the Christian faith.
• The Walk to Emmaus is not designed for those persons with restrictions or specific celebrations that Emmaus cannot provide.
• The Walk to Emmaus is not intended to convince prospective pilgrims they need to attend church.
Once you have prayed about sponsoring someone on the Walk to Emmaus, it is important to sit down with that person and explain how this experience has affected your walk with God, tell them about the weekend - but not about those parts of the weekend that are special and should be experienced but not anticipated – candlelight, letters, dying moments, etc. These parts of the Walk to Emmaus are very personal and should be experienced with God as they happen. Answer any questions they may have – remember, Emmaus is not a cult or secret society. You might also want to send them to the Mountain Top Emmaus website to explore. And, stay in contact with your pilgrim before the walk. The web address is listed on your Welcome letter in your packet.
Once you have talked with your prospective pilgrim, give them an application if they are interested in attending. Assure them the information they provide is not going to be shared with others, but better helps us meet their needs during the weekend. There are two applications in your packet to use for sponsorship. You may copy them as needed. Or you can click the "Application" link in this website and print both parts of the Application.
In our community, it is an agape gift of the sponsor to pay for the pilgrim’s fee to attend a walk. If this is a hardship, please contact the registrar as scholarships are available.
Also remember that once you send in someone’s application, space may not be available on the next walk. There is almost always a waiting list for each walk. Both you and your pilgrim will receive a letter about 6 weeks before the walk that has a space for your pilgrim. Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. In some cases, your pilgrim may ask to be moved to the next available Walk because of unforeseen conflicts or illness. Please contact the registrar as soon as you know your pilgrim cannot attend his or her scheduled Walk. A pilgrim may be moved to a subsequent walk two times, and then the application is removed from the files. Registration deposits cannot be transferred from one pilgrim to another.
Each household may sponsor no more than two pilgrims on each walk.
As a sponsor, you should stay in contact with your pilgrim before the walk to answer questions. You should also sign up for the 72-hour prayer vigil, begin to collect letters for the pilgrim, and work with your reunion group to make agape gifts for the walk. And, most importantly, pray, pray, pray.
It is very important that you make sure a pilgrim’s family is taken care of during his or her walk weekend. Touch base with family members to see what needs you can help with.
As a sponsor, you also make a commitment to bring your pilgrim to Send Off on Thursday night (and traditionally take your pilgrim to dinner beforehand), to attend Candlelight, to come to Closing on Sunday (and take your pilgrim home), and to attend Follow Up with your pilgrim the next weekend. Please consider bringing agape food (We always need food!) and making agape gifts (75) for the conference and dining rooms. These can be given to a Silent Angel or someone in the kitchen or dining room for delivery to a Silent Angel. Board policy prohibits giving gifts to pilgrims during the weekend. If you have a special book or gift for your pilgrim, please give it to him or her on the way home from the Walk. Please make sure you collect and bring at least 10-12 agape letters for your pilgrim, especially those from family members and loved ones.
Let your pilgrim know about Reunion Groups (listed in packet and on this website), or help your pilgrim start a group. If you would like your new group to be made available to the community, contact the registrar with your reunion group information to add to the packet list.
SO….SPONSOR, SPONSOR, SPONSOR! But do so prayerfully. If you have questions about sponsorship, please call the registrar.
DECOLORES AND BE BLESSED!
SERVING ON A TEAM
"How may I get selected to serve on a Team?"
After a Walk it is natural some Pilgrims feel called to serve on a Walk to Emmaus Team.
However, serving on a Team is not a simple matter of completing a form and waiting for someone to call or mail a letter.
Mountain Top Walk to Emmaus Team members are selected by a Team Selection Committee so it is desirable to become known within the Emmaus community.
These are suggested steps to take:
1 - Join (or form) and regularly attend a Reunion Group.
2 - Become a Sponsor.
3 - Regularly attend Gatherings, Closings and Candlelights.
4 - Complete and keep current a "yes" sheet.
5 - Serve during a Walk in the Kitchen, Dining Room, or Prayer Chapel. Make certain to "sign in" so that
your name has been recorded as one who served. While serving during a Walk, search out and talk to
the Board members in charge of these areas and let them know you feel called to serve on a Team.
6 - Be certain you are truly called to serve, PRAY and be prepared to accept when asked to serve on a Walk to Emmaus Team.
7 - Though it is very rare, if you have taken all of these steps and have not yet been contacted to serve on a Team, then it's time
to "stand at the door and knock". Write your most diplomatic letter to the Chairperson of the Board documenting the steps you have taken
and expressing how you feel called to serve on a Walk to Emmaus Team.
How is Emmaus
perceived by non-Emmaus church members? Is it something that draws a congregation
together or divides it? In other words, are we, who have attended a Walk
to Emmaus®, inclusive or exclusive?
Do we send the wrong signals?
What message are we
giving other church members when we act like "with it" Christians?
What are they supposed to
think of our "secret" meetings (Reunion Groups) and "code" words ("DeColores!")?
Would you be surprised to
learn that there are people who will never attend a Walk because they fear
it is a cult?
Where do they get these ideas?
Too often, from some of us.
Emmaus claims as one of its
goals the renewal of the church. This will not happen easily if Emmaus
Pilgrims are considered a sect within the church. All of God's people;
rich and poor, young and old, Emmaus and non-Emmaus, must work together
to nurture unity. Unity is essential for the life of the church -- the
Body of Christ. Emmaus Pilgrims who create a climate of exclusivity within
the church (or even form a little group in the left corner of the assembly
room after church) do the Body of Christ a great disservice.
It is Jesus Christ we proclaim
-- not Emmaus. We are called to build up the Body of Christ, the church
-- not the body of Emmaus. Be sensitive, loving and inclusive of non-Emmaus
members around you.
...And don't let Emmaus make
"a mess" in your church!
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journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.
The content of these webpages is the responsibility of Rev. Steve Holcomb, webservant,
who reserves all international rights as owner and grants no permission to reproduce in any form.
Design and maintenance of this website is his personal agape for the Mountain Top Emmaus Community.
Created in 1998, no fees, charges or honorarium have been requested, solicited, collected or received.
The primary purpose of this website is to offer an educational and instructional tool for sponsors.
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