COMMUNITY, BUT NOT FOR COMMUNITIES SAKE
The Emmaus movement is not a secret society nor was it created in order to draw members out of their local churches to a new community. Emmaus Walks and Chrysalis Flights are meant to deepen the faith of individuals in order to promote missional service in our local congregations, and to bring Christianity to the world. Participation in the Emmaus program gives pilgrims and caterpillars the skills needed for leadership and invites them to make the commitment needed to build up the church for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Sponsorship is at the very heart of the Walk to Emmaus and Chrysalis communities. It is an act of Agape love given on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. It is both an opportunity to share the wonderful experience you had on your own walk or flight as well as a long-term commitment to the pilgrim or caterpillar.
Remember than in order to sponsor someone for a Walk or Flight you must have attended a Walk or Chrysalis yourself. Sponsorship involves prayer, commitment, support and excitement. You begin with prayer before you ever approach your candidate and continue to pray for them long after their Emmaus weekend journey has ended. Share your excitement with your candidate and don't be worried if they don't respond to your first attempt. Flights and Walks always contain just the people who God has planned for those weekend experiences. Also consider the importance of sponsoring both husbands and wives together. It is possible for spiritually single people to attend the walk, but it is always preferable to send a husband and wife together so that they may not become unequally yoked.
The Oregon Trails Walk to Emmaus community continues through sponsorship but we should all remember that the purpose of the Walk is to create leaders in our local churches through the sharing of God's grace with others during retreat weekends, rather than just bringing new "friends into the club." Join me in considering who you know that God would like to see on an upcoming walk and begin praying right away.