"What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?

"What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

Postby Patsy© » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:33 pm

"What is the Role of Sponsorship?"

(from the Alcoholics Anonymous, pamphlet; "Questions & Answers on Sponsorship")

What is Sponsorship?

Most present members of Alcoholics Anonymous owe their sobriety to the fact that
someone else took a special interest in them and was willing to share a great gift with

Sponsorship is merely another way of describing the continuing special interest of a
seasoned member that can mean so much to a newcomer turning to A.A. for help.

Individuals and groups cannot afford to lose sight of the importance of sponsorship, the
importance of taking a special interest in a confused alcoholic who wants to stop drinking.
Experience shows clearly that the members getting the most out of the A.A. program, and
the groups doing the best job of carrying the A.A. message to still-suffering alcoholics,.
are those for whom sponsorship is too important to be left to chance.

By these members and groups, sponsorship responsibilities are welcomed and accepted as
opportunities to enrich personal A.A. experience and to deepen the satisfactions that come
from working with others.


ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS began with sponsorship. When Bill W., only a few
months sober, was stricken with a powerful urge to drink, this thought came to him: "You
need another alcoholic to talk to. You need another alcoholic just as much as he needs

He found Dr. Bob, who had been trying desperately and unsuccessfully to stop drinking,
and out of their common need A.A. was born. The word "sponsor" was not used then;
the Twelve Steps had not been written; but Bill carried the message to Dr. Bob, who in
turn safeguarded his own sobriety by sponsoring countless other alcoholics. Through
sharing, both of our co-founders discovered, their own sober lives could be enriched
beyond measure.

What does A.A. mean by sponsorship? To join some organizations, you must have a
sponsor - a person who vouches for you, presents you as being suitable for membership.
This is definitely not the case with A.A. Anyone who has a desire to stop drinking is
welcome to join us!

In A.A., sponsor and sponsored meet as equals, just as Bill and Dr. Bob did. Essentially,
the process of sponsorship is this: An alcoholic who has made some progress in the
recovery program shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another
alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety through A.A..

When we first begin to attend A.A. meetings, we may feel confused and sick and
apprehensive. Although people at meetings respond to our questions willingly, that alone
isn't enough. Many other questions occur to us between meetings; we find that we need
constant, close support as we begin learning how to "live sober. "

So we select an A.A. member with whom we can feel comfortable, someone with whom
we can talk freely and confidentially, and we ask that person to be our sponsor.

Whether you are a newcomer who is hesitant about "bothering" anyone, or a member
who has been around for some time trying to go it alone, sponsorship is yours for the
asking. We urge you: Do not delay. Alcoholics recovered in A.A. want to share what they
have learned with other alcoholics. We know from experience that our own sobriety is
greatly strengthened when we give it away!
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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