What is a Sponsor


A sponsor by today's definition is similar to what you might think of a mentor.  A sponsor is a person who has worked the steps of AA and can guide you through them.  However, sponsors in AA do not give advice.  Instead we share our experience, strength, and hope.  When choosing a sponsor you will want to attend meetings regularly and find out a little bit more about who might be of interest to you.  Remember, you want to find someone who has what you want in recovery. In that light, here's a list of attributes that are intended as guides to finding a sponsor. These are guidelines only.  The most important thing is - get a sponsor and start the steps!

Important Sponsor Attributes

  • They have worked some of the steps, and apply them in their daily lives.
  • They have a sponsor.
  • They go to several meetings a week.
  • They use AA books and literature as the basis of their recovery path.
  • Their lives are not full of distractions that hinder recovery.
  • Men work with Men - Women work with Women. Pick someone who won't distract you.


The rest is pretty much open.  While no one can tell you who your sponsor should be, folks will sometimes elect themselves and start working with you, or you will be urged to pick a certain person.  Consider it a blessing. They are likely experienced in such things.  Some of us have had a hard time finding a sponsor.  Don't worry.  You aren't alone!  Just be patient and the right path will present itself.

Where did the idea of a sponsor come from?  In the beginning a drunk was not able to get committed to an institution to dry out unless someone would take responsibility for them - a sponsor.  Because insurance has made recovery centers available financially, the sponsor is no longer needed in that capacity.  However, sponsors have evolved into an important long-term guide to recovery, and many times they become close confidants who share their experience on finances, relationships, and remind us how to calm our hurt or angry feelings.  A sponsor is an indispensable part of a healthy AA program.  They will help you see things about yourself that you'd never have noticed - good things! Make sure you find a sponsor as soon as possible!

Mike C 6/2011