Members with at least one year of sobriety under their belts are able to become an Alcoholics Anonymous® sponsor. New participants may seek out sponsors of their own choosing or more seasoned members may indicate a direct interest in becoming a sponsor. Depending on the local group, those who wish to become an Alcoholics Anonymous® sponsor may need to submit their information and request to a central contact person.
Sponsors are needed to help guide and support new members of Alcoholics Anonymous® groups. The main goal of any sponsor-new member relationships is to help the member figure out a sound, individualized method of maintaining sobriety. Those who wish to become an Alcoholics Anonymous® sponsor need to fully understand what it means to stay sober, be willing to provide unbiased support, and understand the organization's Twelve Step program.
The main requirements for anyone who wants to become an Alcoholics Anonymous® sponsor are at least one year of successful sobriety and a willingness to provide active support to new members. Sponsors are typically paired with members of the same gender, per A.A.® protocol. Anyone who becomes a sponsor should be willing to deal with the ups and downs that come with helping someone make the transition from a life of alcohol abuse to sobriety.
Those who wish to become an Alcoholics Anonymous® sponsor might get their start by approaching one of the leaders of their local chapter. Some find that they become sponsors when a new member requests to be paired with them based upon mutual rapport or interests. Others become sponsors by actively approaching new members and offering to help them make the transition to a life free of alcohol abuse. Online A.A.® groups tend to have a submission process where potential sponsors submit their information to a main contact, who then matches them up with new members.
It is important for any sponsor to know the ins and outs of the Twelve Step program. Sponsors should be willing to educate new members about the sobriety process, but do so in a neutral manner. For example, a sponsor who is religious should not attempt to impose his spiritual beliefs as the way to achieve sobriety on a new member who is not religious. Sponsors should be willing and able to engage in an ongoing, open communication process and share their experiences of how they were able to successfully achieve sobriety.