Top 10 Things to Know About Sponsorship
Have you ever considered that good sponsorship is the first act of Agape?
Good sponsorship undergirds the whole weekend with sacrificial love on behalf of each pilgrim embodying the personal commitment of the community to each pilgrim.
It is the foundation for a healthy, effective Emmaus Movement that is fulfilling its true purpose: the development of Christian leaders and the renewal of the church in ministry.
So, here are 10 things to know about sponsoring:
1) The true aim of sponsorship is to bring spiritual revitalization to Christians who, in turn, will bring new life and vision to the work of the church in the congregation, home, workplace, and community.
2) Wise sponsorship is purposeful and prayerful, as opposed to unwise sponsorship that is haphazard and undiscerning. Positive sponsorship eventually will produce a balanced theologically centered movement of the Holy Spirit, which is integrated into the life of the church in the community. This is honored by a variety of churches as an effective
instrument for conveying God's grace, the call to committed discipleship, and our unity in Christ. It is done with purpose, prayer and compassionate agape love.
3) Sponsorship is the lifeblood of each community. We all want a positive weekend to take place and the Pilgrim to start off correctly. Thus, it is crucial to consider how to and whom to sponsor.
4) The first consideration in sponsoring is prayer; you should be in prayer for the individual that God is leading you to approach about the Walk. Ask God to make it obvious to you whom you should be approaching and then pray for the person's openness to God's call to discipleship, not for how to get him or her to go on a Walk.
5) Be open and straightforward with what you share about the Walk and Emmaus. As you extend an invitation, be clear about the purpose of Emmaus—that is, invite the prospective pilgrim to attend for the sake of a more vital relationship with Jesus Christ, not just an event to go to. Share your faith; explain the basic elements of the Walk, the purpose, and follow-up dimensions that help us live in grace for the rest of our lives. Take the attitude that you are giving the person a wonderful gift rather than that he or she needs to go.
6) Don’t be secretive. Answer any questions in as open as possible manner. Recognize that prospective pilgrims will not have any context for many aspects. Reassure them and let them know you are available to talk as they think and pray about attending.
7) Encourage the prospective pilgrim to pray about going. Give the person time to consider going and let them know you too are praying for God’s timing in when they attend. If the person is married, speak with both partners and encourage equal commitment by both.
8) Continue to pray for your prospective pilgrim, prepare agape letters, and enlist the support of their pastor. Collect 8-12 personal agape letters.
9) Support the Walk through your prayers during the 72-Hour Prayer Vigil and your presence at Send Off, Sponsors' Hour, Candlelight, and Closing. Support the pilgrim's family by house sitting, baby sitting, watering plants, picking up mail, feeding pets, or just checking in with the pilgrim’s spouse and family to see if any help is needed.
10) Realize that your role as a sponsor is not over after the Walk; in fact, in many ways, your support post-Walk is even more important. Encourage the pilgrim in his or her Fourth Day involvement. Give your friend an opportunity to talk through and appropriate the experience. Help the pilgrim find a reunion group, or be prepared to start a group with him or her for a period of time until others join the group. Take the pilgrim to Gatherings as your guest for a couple of months. Help the pilgrim reenter his or her church and consider ways to apply his or her new commitment and enthusiasm. Help the pilgrim learn how to be a good sponsorship.
If you have questions about sponsoring, please contact any member of our Board of Directors