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Post Info TOPIC: What to expect from a sponsor?

Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 63
What to expect from a sponsor?

Hi, just asked someone to be my sponsor but not sure what that means? This is her first experience at being a sponsor - so we are both new to the relationship. Do I call her to check in? Does she call me? Can I call her when I need to talk? We have set up  a regular weekly meeting time to go over the steps, but I am not sure how often I can call her or what the expectations should be?
Could someone advise???




~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 3856

Sponsors  are guides and confidante they guide u thru the steps and share thier own experiences with you . if she agreed to sponsor she knows you will be calling sometimes often  hehe .   Meeting once a week is a good thing , this is the person u talk to  about problems that are not usually discussed at meeting level    things u do not want to  share at group level
the questions you asked should be answered by her how often , when u can call etc and exactly what she is comfortable with .  Big step getting a sponsor now u will start to grow at a faster rate . good for you for taking this step .  Louise


I came- I came to-I came to be

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1508

Hi Jill, I have posted this before but thought it might help you.  I was given this a few years ago.


SPONSORSHIP -What It Is and What It Isn't

Four major points in sponsorship that most Twelve Step Fellowship members will agree on:

1.The primary responsibility of sponsors is to help their sponsees work the Twelve Steps.

2.A sponsor and sponsee have an obligation to discuss their mutual expectations, objectives, and requirements, if any, regarding the sponsorship relationship before they enter into that relationship.

3.A sponsor shares his or her experience, strength, and hope with his or her sponsee rather than trying to run the sponsee's life.

4.A sponsor must never take advantage of a sponsee in any way.


1.A sponsor's primary responsibility is to help a sponsee work the Twelve Steps by providing explanation, guidance, and encouragement.

2.A sponsor helps us get established quickly in our Fellowship by explaining basic concepts and terminology and by introducing us to other members.

3.A sponsor is a safe person who we can learn to trust.

4.A sponsor can answer the many questions that we have as newcomers or develop as "mid-timers."

5.A sponsor can help us in the process of self-examination that the Steps require.

6.A sponsor encourages us to read the basis text of our Fellowship and other program literature and to engage in Fellowship activities and service work.

7.A sponsor can monitor our progress, confront us when it is appropriate, and generally help us stay on the recovery path.

8.A sponsor reminds us to apply Twelve Step principles in our lives.

9.A sponsor models the Twelve Step program of recovery.

10. Our sponsor is available in times of crisis.

11. A sponsor provides practice in building relationships.


1.A sponsor cannot keep us in recovery.

2.A sponsor is not our therapist. The Twelve Steps are about spiritual growth, not therapy.

3.A sponsor should not attempt to control our lives or encourage an unhealthy dependence.

4.A sponsor should not take advantage of us or exploit us in any way.


1.Has what we want.

2.Lives in the solution.

3.Walks the talk

4.Has a sponsor

5.Emphasizes the Steps

6.Has more time in recovery that we do

7.Has worked more Steps than we have

8.Is available for telephone calls and meetings

9.Emphasizes the spiritual aspect of the program

10. Gender is the same as ours

It is a privilege to sponsor someone. And it's one of the ways we stay in recovery.

Laughter is the Beginning of Healing

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 1234

That pretty much says it all. The only thing I will add is that if you are both new to the sponsor relationship. be flexible, Keep your expectations in check, don't take anything personal, be open as much as possible if anything makes you uncomfortable or you get confused. That will halp things run smoothly.

Congrats on this new chapter in your recovery.



"When you come to the edge of all you know you must believe in one of two things... there will be earth on which to stand or you will be given wings." ~Unknown

~*Service Worker*~

Status: Offline
Posts: 13719

Program taught me to kill all of or at least widen my expectations so having said that...
Expect them to be human, not perfect, experienced and willing to talk about their growth
and secrets and tricks and stuff they got from their sponsors.  Expect them to be
available and loving and supportive and at times not there when you need them causing
you to call someone else for support and feedback ( its okay to do but relay
what you did to your sponsor lately). Expect them to have bad days and watch how they
can handle those bad days because that's what you want to know.  Expect them at times
to display a enormous amount of love and patience with you when you aren't listening
and petulant or just darn right stubborn and into self centeredness and self pity.  Expect
them to know the steps beyond just reading them and willing to listen to you on how you
know them and are working them because a good sponsor is always listening for stuff to
help them grow also.  Expect them to mirror the program imperfectly but better than you
do at the moment.  Expect them to talk in Greek at times when they are giving you stuff
you've never heard before and don't understand right off and then expect them to stand
by you and monitor your body language and behavior and smile just when you have that
"Aha" moment and jump up and spin shouting "I GET IT!!".  Sometimes we sponsor just
to enjoy the miracles.  Expect honesty...that is what they will be expecting from you.
Expect commitment to the program because that is what they will be expecting from you
also.  Expect growth away from unmanagability as that is what she will be trying to teach
you.   Expect much more as you get to know her and she gets to know you.  Sponsorship
is a relationship (for me) where I learn open trust, grace, and unconditional love.  It is
also where I learn over time to take control over my own life and to move away from
"needing" my sponsor but to wanting to be in the relationship.  Expect at times to mirror
her recovery because that is exactly what she is giving you and when you have one of
those sponsor assisted "Aha" moments celebrate it and thank her with a hug and maybe
a bit of cake and coffee...Expect to grow together.   

Some of my very very best moments...if not hands down the best moments is when I
was being sponsored into serenity and when I was sponsoring another to reach that also.
Expect to become a sponsor.

Happy New Year and Yay!! for you sponsor search.   (((((hugs))))) smile


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 52

Thanks for posting about this topic!  I found Jerry and David's comments to be very helpful.  I have found a great sponsor and I have been so blessed by our relationship thus far. 
Congratulations on getting a sponsor!

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