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Sponsors and Sponsees Help Forum This forum is to discuss any topics, questions or comments you have on sponsorship from How To Pick A Sponsor to When To Step Back and more.

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Old 10-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #11
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For groups planning sponsorship activity

How does sponsorship help a group?

The primary purpose of an A.A. group is to carry the message of the recovery program to alcoholics who want and ask for help. Group meetings are one way of doing this. Sponsorship is another.

In some groups, the idea of sponsorship is broadened to include working with alcoholics in nearby institutions and, through correspondence, with isolated Lone Members and Internationalists (seagoing A.A.'s).

Active sponsorship programs within a group remind all members of the group's primary purpose. They serve to unite a group, keep it mindful of "First Things First."

What procedures can a group set up to sponsor new members?

Carefully planned sponsorship activity within a group is often likely to produce better results than sponsorship left to chance.

A typical pattern of planned sponsorship within a local group might include the following:

A regular committee on sponsorship or a Twelfth Step committee, with members rotating frequently. If there is an Intergroup or central office that keeps a fist of local groups and the members available for Twelfth Step calls, such a committee may check to see whether the group has enough of its members on the office fist to fulfill its responsibility.
Regular beginners meetings (also called newcomers meetings) - particularly in larger communities where there are many newcomers. A Guide for Leading Beginners Meetings may be ordered from GENERAL SERVICE OFFICE
Regular assignment of members to greet newcomers at meetings and introduce them around. In large groups, people on a hospitality commit- tee may wear badges for the benefit of the newcomer. In smaller groups, the secretary may, during the announcements, simply ask newcomers to come up and make themselves known after the meeting, so they may be introduced to other members.
Another suggested announcement. "If any person here does not have a sponsor and wants one, please see the secretary, who will arrange a temporary sponsor." Where this practice is followed at each meeting, members say, it reminds the group of the value of sponsoring and being sponsored.
Closed-meeting discussions of sponsorship problems and opportunities. Some groups schedule meetings especially for this purpose.
A file of; names, addresses, and phone number of newcomers (who wish to volunteer the information), with notations showing sponsor or sponsors for each one.
Table display of Conference-approved A.A. literature on recovery (including this pamphlet). - Review of newcomers list by steering commit- tee (or Twelfth Step or sponsorship committee) -with follow-up activity where it seems needed. - Study of Chapter 7 in the Big Book ("Working With Others").
Regular procedure (carried out by the secretary or the sponsorship committee) for welcoming newcomers who have just left institutions, treatment centers, or halfway houses. For instance, the secretary may receive word from the secretary, of a prison group that a newly released person is about to attend a meeting, and the "outside" group is then alerted to the arrival of this newcomer. If it is feasible, a member of the group may even offer to meet the person immediately upon release.
How may "outside" A.A. groups help groups and members in institutions?

This subject is fully covered in the pamphlets "A.A. in Correctional Facilities" and "A.A. in Treatment Facilities." Also see Guidelines on Correctional Facilities Committees and Guidelines on Treatment Facilities Committees, Treatment Facilities Workbook and Correctional Facilities Workbook, all available from The GENERAL SERVICE OFFICE.

Service Sponsorship

Sponsorship in A.A. is basically the same, whether in helping another individual's recovery or in service to a group. It can be defined as one alcoholic who has made some progress in recovery and/or performance or service, sharing this experience with another alcoholic who is just starting the journey. Both types of service spring from the spiritual aspects of the program.

Individuals may feel that they have more to offer in one area than in another. It is the service sponsor's responsibility to present the various aspects of service: setting up a meeting; working on committees; participating in conferences, etc. In this matter, it is important for the service sponsor to help individuals understand the distinction between serving the needs of the Fellowship and meeting the personal needs of another group member.

The service sponsor begins by encouraging the member to become active in their home group; coffee, literature, cleanup, attending business meetings or Intergroup meetings, etc. The service sponsor should keep in mind that all members will not have the desire or qualifications to move beyond certain levels and, thus, the service sponsor might help find tasks appropriate to individuals' skills and interests. Whatever level of service one performs, all are toward the same end-sharing the overall responsibilities of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Eventually, the service sponsor encourages the individual member interested in this form of service to attend district meetings and to read about the history and structure of Alcoholics Anonymous. At this point, the individual beginning this work should begin to understand the responsibilities of service work, as well as feel the satisfaction of yet another form of Twelfth Step work. Such individuals should be encouraged to take an active part in district activities and consider being elected to alternate positions in the district so as to learn about the responsibilities of various jobs in the service structure.

During this process it is important for the individual to continue to learn about the three Legacies - Unity, Recovery and Service, and to understand that the principle of rotation not only allows them to move on in service, but also gives newer members the privilege of serving. Rotation also allows them to under- stand that no one should hold on to a position of trust long enough to feel a proprietary interest and thereby discourage newcomers from service.

Now, through knowledge and experience, the newer member is aware that service is our most important product after sobriety. With this knowledge, the individual is able to share their vision with others and ensure the future of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the final analysis, It is between me and God; It never was between me and them anyway.

Love always,


I share because I care.

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