What is sponsorship?
A sponsor is an individual who helps guide a less-experienced member through the Twelve-Step program. In the pamphlet, A Commitment to Abstinence, it says, “A sponsor’s primary function is to share her or his experience, strength and hope with you, answer your questions, listen as you discuss your feelings and guide you in understanding the Steps.”
Some members may want extra support with the physical aspect of recovery. They often find it helpful to commit their daily food plan to their sponsor or another OA member. But as the pamphlet explains, “Calling in your food plan is by no means a ‘must.’” Some OAers discuss their program of recovery, including food, with their sponsor.
There are no specific qualifications for sponsorship in OA. Naturally, it is more beneficial to work with a sponsor who is committed to abstinence and to working the Steps. When looking for a sponsor, the pamphlet Tools of Recovery suggest members keep in mind that “sponsors share their program up to the level of their own experience . . .find a sponsor who has what you want and ask how it was achieved.
How can we prepare to be a sponsor?
It is important to realize that there is in no one, perfect way to sponsor. A sponsor is simply one OA member working with another to better understand and live the Twelve-Step program. There are as many different methods of sponsoring as there are OA members. The key to being a sponsor is to share one’s experience, strength and hope as it relates to OA’s Twelve-Step program.
If there are individuals in your group who have maintained any length of abstinence and are working the Twelve Steps, they have something to share. There is no graduation date when members magically become ready to sponsor. As we learn in OA, all progress is worth sharing.
copyright Overeaters Anonymous, Inc., used by permission
Interested in Virtual Sponsorship — by Email, Telephone, Skype, Online?
Region One offers an online Sponsor or Sponsee application form you can fill out and submit.