Finding a sponsor to help you through the 12-steps of recovery is so important. They are further down the road in recovery and can help you as you work the steps. Below are the guidelines for a Sponsee and their Sponsor:


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  "Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively.  If one falls down, the other can help him up.  But if someone is alone – there is no one to help him – Two men can resist an attack that would defeat one man alone."

Proverbs 27:17  "As an iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Sponsorship – Sponsee Guidelines

  1. Growing relationship with God.
  2. Respectful of sponsor, recognizing that a sponsor is an equal, a friend in the program—and for Christians a friend in Christ—who is on this same journey, who knows the kinds of problems we face, who still encounters them, in fact, and sometimes fails to deal with them creatively. Your sponsor is not perfect or a therapist.
    (A Hunger for Healing, J. Keith Miller, Appendix A, Sponsorship, p.221)
  3. Commitment to one's own recovery.
  4. Being willing to admit if you are not ready and willing to commit to your recovery.

  1. Willing to attend meetings on a regular basis.
  2. Open to participating in the group by sharing your hurts, habits and hang-ups.
  3. Willing to work the steps by completing the lessons and writing answers each week.
  4. Willing to be honest, trying to face own denial.
  5. It is the sponsee's responsibility to call the sponsor at the sponsor's direction. This is a program about growing up and taking responsibility for our lives. It is not a sponsor's job to call and check to see how sponsee is working their program.


Confidentiality is crucial and means that a sponsee does not tell other people anything shared in group or with your sponsor about another person.

Sponsorship – Sponsor Guidelines

  1. Walk matches talk. Lives the 8 Principles.
  2. Growing Relationship with Christ
  3. Desire to help others on the road to recovery
  4. Show compassion, care, and hope but not pity
  5. Good Listener
  6. Strong enough to confront your denial/procrastination
  7. Offers suggestions
  8. Shares own struggles with others - honest and open
  9. Of same sex
  10. Has at least begun 9th step with sponsor
  11. Shows integrity, honesty, and confidentiality
  12. Has experienced victory for a period of time in recovery
  13. Has recommendation from sponsor to begin sponsoring

  1. Discuss issues in detail that are too personal/time consuming for a meeting.
  2. Available in times of crisis or potential relapse.
  3. Sounding board - provide objective viewpoint - key in working the Steps
  4. Encourages to work the Steps at your own speed - speed up or slow down
  5. Models a lifestyle resulting from living the 8 Principles and 12 Steps
  6. Share their own experience, strength, and hope
  7. May turn into friendship but doesn't have to
  8. Either party can fire the other at any time
  9. Ensure sufficient contact with each other - onus on sponsee
  10. Not have all the answers but lovingly guide/coach/share
  11. Confront when necessary
  12. Be the hand of Christ
  13. Prays regularly for sponsee