How to Ask Someone to Be Your Sponsor 

July 2, 2024

3 mins

Jackie Rosu


Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to address their alcohol use disorder. It works through a 12-Step process based on spirituality and connecting with others with substance use disorder.

One of the many benefits of 12-Step Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is the community support they can offer. As part of a recovery-focused circle, an individual will receive more attention and encouragement than they might have gained alone. They’ll be able to talk to others with similar experiences.

However, the benefits offered do not begin and end with the full group. An informal part of 12-Steps programs, sponsorships create even more chances for someone to receive help. But how does one find a sponsor? In this piece, we’ll explore what an A.A. sponsor does, as well as how to ask someone to be your sponsor.

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to address their alcohol use disorder. It works through a 12-Step process based on spirituality and connecting with others with substance use disorder. Meetings are free to attend, and lack age and education requirements. All a prospective member needs is a desire to recover.

What is a Sponsor?

A sponsor is another A.A. member who has made some progress in the recovery program and shares their experience with another recovering person. This is done on a continuous, individual basis. A sponsor is someone with whom the sponsored person can feel comfortable and talk freely, with trust in confidentiality. 

An A.A. sponsor will also offer continuous, close support. They’ll introduce the newcomer to other A.A. members, inform them of resources and information, and encourage them to get and stay sober. As well, they can help a person access professional help and stress the importance of A.A. as a safe space.

While the sponsorship program itself is informal, it is also integral to 12-Step recovery. By giving a newcomer an understanding and supportive friend, the sponsorship program ensures that they will have somewhere to turn when recovery turns tough.

Alongside one on one relationships, sponsorship also refers to the responsibility of an entire A.A. group to help a newcomer. Because many new members have no prior contact with A.A., it is important for a group to provide some form of sponsorship help.

How to Choose a Sponsor

According to A.A., there is no specific way to find a sponsor. Instead of any formalized steps, a newcomer should look for a more experienced member who seems compatible. Preferably, this potential sponsor will be several years sober, and happy about it.

It may be tempting to choose a sponsor with a similar background to oneself, however, that is not necessary. According to A.A., some members were greatly helped by sponsors, entirely unlike themselves. The only true requirement is that a person’s sponsor not be someone to whom they can feel any attraction. As a result, they might pick someone of the same or a different gender, depending on their sexuality. However, any sponsor can work well so long as their focus remains on recovery from alcohol use disorder. 

Asking Someone to Be Your Sponsor

The actual steps for asking a person to be one’s sponsor are simple. When a newcomer begins their time in a 12-Step program, they simply need to approach someone and ask. If the sponsorship doesn’t work out, then they can simply ask someone else

Don’t Recover Alone with Never Alone Recovery

A sponsorship is a special relationship between a newcomer to Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12-Step Programs and a more experienced member with years of sobriety under their belt. When a person first joins a 12-Step program, they will have the chance to choose a sponsor to mentor them. 

This person will then offer continuous support in recovery. They can answer questions, connect a newcomer with the greater A.A. community, and keep their sponsee far more focused on recovery than they might have been.

12-Step programs are a great way to recover from substance use disorder. However, they are not the only solution. Alongside a recovery-focused community, many people also need medical and professional intervention in order to heal. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder, then Never Alone Recovery can help. Offering a range of support services, including a sobriety-focused community through an online support group, as well as invaluable addiction recovery consultants, Never Alone Recovery might be the place for you. Call us today at 844-364-4445 in order to learn which Never Alone program is right for you, and find the support that you need.

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