- A sponsors primary responsibility

A sponsors primary responsibility




Discussions related to Sponsors, Sponsoring, Working with others,

qualifications to be a sponsor (specific question)

Postby geo » Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:50 pm

I announced at a meeting that I wanted be available as a sponsor. Someone at the meeting said "you can only sponsor someone up to the step which you have completed". I never read that anywhere before. The person telling me this has been in program 24 years but "can't sponsor now". I have only been in program 81 days but feel I need to sponsor and I want to sponsor, I want to see someone recover as I have, one day at a time. Can anyone give me a second opinion here? Thank you.
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Postby merckx » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:58 am

The only thing that comes to mind for me is "You can't give away something you haven't got yourself". If you have worked the 12 Steps thoroughly I can't think of anything that should stop you. The human part of me wants to think, "I want someone with a longer track record in sobriety". Then I think, "If God has changed a man, that man is changed".

Everyone has an opinion. If you are continuing to thoroughly work the steps and asking God to know His will, you will know exactly what you are supposed to do. The great thing about Step 11 is that when I am responsive to God's will in my life, it is not up to me to come up with the Power to carry it out. It is God's job to provide the power!
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Postby Ranman99 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:02 pm

Working with others it states "having had the experience ourselves we can offer much practical advice". Im one of those that places a lot of weight on the work done and not so much the years. A really good series that mentions this topic is on xa-speakers . org and search for dumb guy. It is an interesting 4 part big book study. Cheers.

From my mobile.
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Postby Dallas » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:51 pm

What the person said at the meeting is correct.

Learn to become a Member first. We learn to sponsor by reading the book, and taking the Steps, and from being sponsored. We learn to sponsor by using AA's tools to stay sober ourselves -- and then, we pass that information and experience on to other alcoholics.

You don't have to be a sponsor to do 12th Step work. But you should have completed all the work for the 12 Steps before you sponsor.

There is a huge shortage of Members doing 12th Step work. What's 12 Step work? Showing up in the meetings consistently. Being the greeter. Making coffee. Becoming responsible for the literature. Setting up before the meetings. Cleaning up after meetings. Picking up cig butts in the parking lot and in the area of the meetings and emptying butt cans -- especially if you're a non-smoker. Volunteering at the local Central Office or Intergroup Office. Becoming the Secretary and Treasurer for the Group. Becoming and Intergroup Rep, and a GSR for the Group. Making sure you name is on the Call List. Calling the others that are on the Call Lists. Going with an experienced 12 Stepper on 12 Step Calls. Getting involved & participating in H&I, and Corrections. This list can go on and on and on and on.......... and these activities are all vital to getting the AA message carried to alcoholics who desire to recover.

When you've done those things... and taken all the Steps yourself... and learned how to "Live The Program of Action in All Your Daily Affairs"... and demonstrated that you, too, can stay sober by doing those things... you'll make an excellent sponsor.

If you ended up in an Emergency Room and you needed surgery... would you want a doc w/ 81 days on the job with no surgery experience being your surgeon... or the doc that had undertaken training, served an internship, and had experience as a surgeon?

Alcohol-ism nearly ALWAYS results as a fatal condition. People are found dead daily, near you, as a direct result of alcohol-ism. I can tell you from experience -- that regardless of how qualified you become as a sponsor, and how experienced and how much time you get... whether it's 81 days or 24 years... when you find out that one of the guys you've sponsored ends up w/ a rope around their neck, or a shotgun in their mouth -- or, they relapsed, and killed an entire family, while driving drunk, entering the exit of a freeway... you'll WISH that you had more experience. And, you'll question -- whether you should have been sponsoring or not. It will probably nag at you and bother you for a few years -- before you get over it and learn to live w/ it. When you attend the funerals -- and try to be of service to the families, and you try to console the wives, mothers, and children of the alcoholic -- it will rip your heart out with questions about your capabilities and it will remind you of the importance of the job that you are trying to do.

Good luck to you -- and best wishes!

Dallas
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thanks for talking me out of it

Postby geo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:24 am

Everybody's gotta a lot of advice, like read the big book, which i have and do. It doesn't say anywhere in any literature, "do the 12 steps, then sponsor". A sponsor is also someone you can talk to, be accountable to, those qualities are not gained through 12 steps. No wonder there's a shortage of sponsors, no one can pass the test, especially when the "long termers" are making #### up. Good luck.
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Postby Dallas » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:03 am

Wrong. :lol:

Have you read Step 12? "having had"
"Having had -- a spiritual awakening as the result of -- these steps, (the 12 Steps) -- we tried to carry this message to alcoholics,

If -- you "haven't had" -- it -- "as a result of -- these steps" -- then, what message are you trying to carry? What are you trying to do? You're trying to "pass on" your own version of your own program -- and not the recovery program of AA. If you're going to do it that way -- then, why not write your own book, and start your own program? That way you can do it your way and you don't even need to ask for feedback.

Have you read Chapter 7, of the Big Book? Working with others? If you don't understand that "this is precisely what is being said in Chapter 7" ... then you're not ready to sponsor.

Don't ask for feedback, advice, suggestions or opinions -- when you've already made up your mind what you're going to do and how you're going to do it -- and then get ticked off -- when the opinions, suggestions and advice are not to your liking or they don't fit w/ what you want to do.

Go ahead and offer to sponsor. Nobody stopping you. Good luck to you and to those you can find that will want you and let you be there sponsor. I wish you the best.

Dallas
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Postby Dallas » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:16 am

btw: Yes. I have another opinion, too! :lol:

This is the biggest problem that faces AA's today -- and it's always been the biggest problem -- since AA was first founded. Study the history. This is precisely "why" the Big Book was written... so that "AA's Plan of Recovery" could be passed on by "sponsors" that have not only "read the Big Book" but have "followed the directions" in that book.

It's like... you're living in California... you want to go to Florida, but you've never been to Florida. Yep. You might have a map. You might have read the map... but you've never made the trip yourself. Then, you want someone else to trust you with their life -- to be their guide -- to go somewhere that you've never been. Why would they do that? Why would they need you or want you? They have the same map.

The trouble is: the map is not the territory. It's only a representation of the territory. You can't tell someone what the territory is like if you've never been in the territory. All you can do is tell them what "you think" the map is like.

Thinking -- is not the alcoholic's strong point. :lol: And, the only weaker point than thinking -- for an alcoholic is: doing.
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Re: thanks for talking me out of it

Postby merckx » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:28 am

geo wrote:Everybody's gotta a lot of advice, like read the big book, which i have and do. It doesn't say anywhere in any literature, "do the 12 steps, then sponsor". A sponsor is also someone you can talk to, be accountable to, those qualities are not gained through 12 steps. No wonder there's a shortage of sponsors, no one can pass the test, especially when the "long termers" are making #### up. Good luck.


Man that sounded pretty angry.
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Postby lenny » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:58 pm

Wow,am i glad im back.lets see sponsorship.
1-i do not tell my sponsee's what to do(i suggest)
2-i let them come to me(ask questions)
3-i give the best honest response that i can(and hope that they use it)
4-and i am there for them no matter what.
this is not a popularity contest.
im not here to impress.
i do not tell funny stories from the podium.
i talk today about recovery,my family.all gifts from God.so if a newcomer comes to me he was sent by GOD.period
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Postby jgrabo » Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:47 pm

Geo,
I think my question would be what is your sponsors opinion of your wanting to sponsor?? :?: :?:
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