AA Sponsor

An AA Sponsor is a member of A.A. who serves as mentor to a fellow alcoholic. Even those who have years of sobriety still choose to have a sponsor. Having a sponsor and being a sponsor to others in Alcoholics Anonymous is an important aspect of the program and serves as a way to stay sober.

What is a Sponsor in AA?

A sponsor is a person who has made some progress in recovery and wants to share that experience with another alcoholic on a continual basis that is more personable. A sponsor is particularly important to those who are just learning how to live sober, as a sponsor provides close and constant contact with the sponsee.

A sponsor reading the Big Book to a sponsee over a cup of coffee.

AA Sponsor Guide

The following is a guide to those wishing to be of service to other alcoholics by offering themselves to be a sponsor. Men and women who have been in A.A. for a long time and who have a strong understanding of the 12 steps tend to be the most successful sponsors.

Four Reasons to Sponsor:

  1. It’s a sense of duty.
  2. Because it’s a pleasure
  3. In doing so, I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
  4. Every time I sponsor someone I take out a little more insurance for myself and against a possible relapse.

How to Be an AA Sponsor

Being an AA sponsor is simple. Do not overthink or overdo it. Follow these 4 basic rules and you will not only strengthen your own sobriety, but will also be of great help to your sponsee.

  • Set a limited time each day for telephone contact.
  • Require your sponsee to attend 3-4 A.A. meetings per week.
  • Meet with your sponsee once per week to do Big Book work.
  • Attend 1 A.A. meeting per week with your sponsee. This meeting will typically be your home group meeting.

How to Find an AA Sponsor

If you are a newcomer, it’s natural to feel that you are “bothering” someone by asking for sponsorship. It’s the farthest thing from the truth, do not let this thought prevent you from obtaining a sponsor.

The best way to find a sponsor is by going to a meeting in a location where you reside and call home. During every meeting, they will ask who in the audience is accepting sponsees and they will raise their hand. They may also ask who is looking for a sponsor and for those to raise their hands also. If you are looking for a sponsor, make sure to raise your hand or go talk to one of the individuals who raised their hand after the meeting. There are many ways in which one can find a sponsor, but going to a meeting and finding one in this fashion is by far the easiest route.

Changing Sponsors

If you find another sponsor with whom you feel more comfortable with, feel free to change sponsors. You will not be hurting the feelings of your original sponsor. Ask any old timer and they will tell you about the multitude of sponsors they’ve had during the course of their sobriety.

  • Change sponsors if you are more comfortable with another person that can be more helpful to your growth.
  • Change sponsors if you find yourself chasing a man or woman who will not work with you. Wasting time on any one person is to deny another the chance!

Boundaries

A sponsor will typically state when they can be contacted and when not to contact. The sponsor may wish not to be bothered past the late hours of the night but will agree to be contacted if ever there is an emergency.

Sponsors are also tasked with ensuring that a newcomer doesn’t feel pressured, threatened, or belittled in any way. This can be done by observing the following:

  • Do not impose religious or lifestyle beliefs on the newcomer.
  • Do not answer questions for which they aren’t qualified.
  • Do not speak as an organization representative.
  • Do not offer professional counseling services.

Online AA Sponsor

During this difficult time of Covid, obtaining a sponsor in person can be much harder due to the limited amount of meetings. However, the AA community has adapted very well and now meetings can be found online, 24/7 worldwide, via Zoom. It could be said that it’s even easier to obtain a sponsor online than it is in person. It’s less intimidating and easier to approach a fellow alcoholic online. One obtained, the sponsor and sponsee will swap numbers and schedule a plan going forward. The two individuals may wish to remain their sponsorship online or move to a regular physical location once per week.

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