What’s the story behind the name “Emmaus Church” ?


The name “Emmaus Church” came from a deep desire within Joel to plant a Christ/gospel-centered church in Corpus Christi.  In discussions about name options, the passage in Luke 24:13-35 came up and it became immediately clear this passage had the kind of Christ/gospel-centered core we longed to have as the foundation of our church.  We see three implicit invitations which form the core of who we want to be as a church.

Come as You Are: The disciples Jesus met on the road to Emmaus were not bastions of resilience, understanding, or faith.  In fact, if we are honest they were like us most of the time.  They didn’t have their stuff together and were struggling with feelings of hopelessness, despair, frustration, confusion and, yes, even the dirty little word within the church…. Doubt (vs. 21-24).  These are exactly the sort of people Jesus is looking for.  He is gracious and humble, and he came for those who are sick because those who are well have no need for Him (Mt. 9:12-13).  So come as you are.  Come to Jesus like the sick come to a physician, like a hungry man approaches a piece of bread (John 6:35), or the thirsty come to water (John 7:37).  He will not turn you away, and because we treasure him above all things at Emmaus Church, we welcome you to come as you are.

Come to Christ: So what was the prescription for these disciples’ doubts and fears?  In verses 25-27 Jesus proceeds to unfold the grand story of redemption which, according to Him, had been told through the little story of Israel.  A story, which Jesus made clear in verse 27, had Himself as its ultimate fulfillment and foundation.  Is there a more Christ-centered verse of Scripture in the Bible than Luke 24:27?  This is why we called our church Emmaus Church.  To serve as a reminder to us that in a day of self-help, moralistic sermonizing we want to tether ourselves to The Gospel.

Come Alive: What was the result of the hours spent by Jesus teaching a Christo-centric perspective on the story of the Old Testament? Something was ignited in the hearts of these disciples. They said “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32-33 ESV)  Something that seemed dead in their hearts was resurrected as Jesus opened to them the Scriptures.  There was a recognition of who Jesus truly was (vs. 31).  Again, what led to this dramatic transformation in the hearts and minds of these disciples? It was the teaching of Jesus Christ as the ultimate fulfillment of the Scriptures.  This is what we mean by being a Christ/gospel-centered church.  And we are confident that, to the extent that we share Jesus passion for the gospel (the story of God with Jesus as its fulfillment), we will also see the transformation of the hearts and minds of the people of Emmaus Church.

What if I am coming from another church in Corpus Christi?

We believe there are plenty of biblically sound reasons for someone to leave a local church. We also believe in light of scriptures like Matthew 5:23-24 that there is right way to leave a local church. We have found the following resources to be helpful in determining how to leave a local church for the right reasons and in the right way.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Leaving Your Church

How do I get involved?

Emmaus Church is a organized around meeting rhythms intentionally designed to offer multiple “front doors.”  You are welcomed and encouraged to join us at any of our Gathered Worship Sundays, Scattered Worship Sundays, or at a House Church.  Two things which will help you transition into our family more smoothly are:
  • Join The City, our online tool for communication and organization
  • If you know someone in a House Church nearby, by all means, jump right in.  Our House Churches are accustomed to having new folks drop in.  If you don’t know anyone at a house church then contact us and we will help shepherd you into a house church.

How do I become a covenant partner?

  1. Read The Gospel by Ray Ortland and Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman before attending the partnership classes. These books are available at our corporate gathering at no cost to you.
  2. Attend partnership classes. Classes are offered 3 to 5 times throughout the year. They are offered on 2 consecutive Sundays that are 2 hours each. Classes will be advertised on The City. Until the next classes are offered feel free to act like a covenant partner by attending gathered worship, participating in scattered worship, joining a house church and even a fight club if possible.
  3. You can pick up a Covenant Partnership Booklet which will be used at the partnership classes anytime during one of our corporate gatherings upon request.

How to Best Use Our Online Network (The City)

What is the Online Network?

Rather than merely encouraging virtual community, the purpose of Emmaus’ online network through The City is to enhance actual relationships within the church body.  In our decentralized model of “a family of disciples on mission”, this tool will help keep us unified as “one church,” will help leaders take better care of our people, and will help you take care of one another.  This network called The City is designed to keep those in the Emmaus family connected in various ways.  It’s open to anyone involved with Emmaus:  disciples of Jesus and folks who aren’t, committed and newcomers, young and old.

On the “family” level, we’ll use it to post information, event RSVP’s and task/needs sign-ups for gatherings; to throw out discussion topics; and it will essentially serve as our “church directory” – only better, because it’s way more interactive than those 1980’s church directories!  On the individual level, it gives you contact info for other Emmaus folk; it allows you to get involved in various groups and gatherings; you can update your profile, send messages, give online and even chat with folks.  It keeps you connected to your House Church throughout the week.  And you can start your own discussions and events, ask questions, and share prayer requests and needs with others.

In summary, it’s a tool to help build real relationships.  But it only works if we’re all involved.  So jump on, set up your profile, experiment with the network, and let us know if you have questions – use it as the great tool it is!

To join the City, talk to one of our volunteers at one of our Sunday gatherings. You can also contact one of our leaders on our CONTACT US page who can assist you with getting connected on The City.


  1. Create your profile: post a picture, contact info (please include phone, email and address), link to family members (if applicable), post roles/skills, etc.
    Use your profile to…
    Find and converse with friends and other Emmaus folk
    Keep a journal (which you can make public/private)
    Update your status (with Twitter integration)
  1. Join groups: expand the “Groups” tab on the left side of the page and click “Group Search”.  This will show you all the groups.  Make sure you join…
    Emmaus Church
    Your House Church
    Emmaus Kids (if you have babies and/or children)
  1. In each group you join, click the ellipsis (…) in the top right hand corner and select “Notifications.” From here, choose your settings. We recommend “daily digest” for most groups, and “everything” for Emmaus Church to keep you informed without overloading your Inbox.
  1. Start posting: In each group, click “Start A New Post” and you can create discussion topics, events, needs, prayer requests and more, to share with only that group!  NOTE:Everything you post stays in your group only.
  1. RSVP to events: This is one of the main reasons for the online network.  It helps House Churches and it helps us plan food, space, materials and other details.  Whether it’s your House Church, Emmaus or events created by other folks in the Emmaus family, PLEASE always RSVP.  Simply click the event and follow the instructions to RSVP.



Expand “Groups” on the left side and click a group to see all posts in that group.
Scroll down, or sort by the tabs across the top for various content (all/topics/events/etc.).
Or, to see events in all groups, click “Calendar” on the left side.


To find a person, group or event topic, simply use the “Search” field located at the top right next to “Start a New Post.”
If you’re looking for a particular discussion topic, etc., click “Search inside this group” once search results are displayed to view all results that meet your criteria.


Expand “Groups” on the left side and click the group you want to start something in.
When the page loads click “Start Something” under the heading.
Choose which content you want to start and follow the instructions.


In the group you want to invite them to, click the ellipsis (…) icon and then select “Participants.”
Now click on “Invite Someone New” and follow the instructions to send an invitation.


In the very top right corner, click “Help” for answers/short videos on various issues.