Everything You Need to Know About AA Sponsorship


It's estimated that there are over 2 million members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in over 180 countries around the world.

If you've ever wondered about how to become an AA sponsor, you've come to the right place. We gathered everything you need to know about this role that's essential to the success of many members of AA.

Keep reading to learn more about AA sponsorship and to see if it's right for you.

What is an AA Sponsor?

While Alcoholics Anonymous focuses on holding group meetings to help guide individuals through a 12-step program so they can overcome their alcohol or drug addiction, there's more to it than that.

A sponsor is an individual within the group that becomes a mentor to a newer member. When a person chooses to have a sponsor, they become accountable to that person which helps encourage them to keep their promises.

AA Sponsorship Responsibilities

There are some serious responsibilities that come with being an AA sponsor, so it's important to understand those before you decide to become one.

There are three main responsibilities of a sponsor:

  • Encourage sponsees to continue going through the 12 steps
  • Provide support to sponsees as needed
  • Share their personal experiences at AA meetings

Something else you may choose to become responsible for is giving AA tokens to your sponsee to celebrate sobriety milestones with them.

How to Become a Sponsor

To become an AA sponsor, you simply have to make it known that you are willing to sponsor another member. Then, if a member asks you directly to sponsor them or is connected with you through a leader, you can become a sponsor.

Although you don't need any specific training to become a sponsor, there are some traits that will help you be an incredible sponsor. The most important ones are:

  • Clean
  • Honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Understanding
  • Patient

On average, sponsors had been attending AA meetings for over nine years. The minimum was five years. This gives you plenty of time to establish your sobriety and good habits that you can pass onto your sponsees.

Although your main goal is to be understanding and a trustworthy person a sponsee can go to when they're struggling with something, you will sometimes have to use tough love and brutal honesty to help an individual recognize what they're doing wrong.

Patience comes into play because sponsees will often relapse or may not work through the steps as quickly as someone else. While this can be frustrating, it's essential for a sponsor to recognize that each person will do things at their own pace and to continue to be supportive no matter how long it takes.

Learn More About AA Tokens

Now you know about AA sponsorship and understand what it takes to become a sponsor. As you can see, it doesn't take much but it comes with some serious responsibilities that you have to be prepared to take on.

If you want to learn more about AA tokens and how those are used as part of the 12-step program, read this post. It's packed with information about how AA medallions help addicts overcome their problems.