Service Sponsorship

The same impulse that drives some new people to try to “do A.A.” alone drives some new GSRs to try
to “do general service” alone. There’s no reason to. In fact, there’s every reason not to.
As rewarding and enjoyable as general service can be, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed
at times. A service sponsor can make the difference between struggling in your service position and
feeling a sense of purpose and accomplishment (and having some fun along the way!).

A service sponsor is there to answer your questions about your responsibilities, the structure of
general service, the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Concepts and how to apply them, and making
reports to your group. They can share experiences on managing time and expectations. Simply put,
the service sponsor is there to help.

A service sponsor can be defined as one alcoholic who has made some progress in recovery and/or
performance in service and who is willing to share this experience with another alcoholic who is just
starting the journey.

Service sponsors often introduce newer members to the various aspects of service: setting up a
meeting, working on committees, participating in conferences, etc. In this matter it is important for
the service sponsor to help individuals understand the distinction between serving the needs of the
Fellowship and meeting the personal needs of another group member.

The basis of all sponsorship is to lead by example. Service sponsors can impart to their sponsees
the pleasure of involvement in the work of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is best done by stressing the
spiritual nature of service work and by pointing out the usefulness of simple footwork and faith.

When considering potential service sponsors, experience of the Fellowship suggests looking for an
A.A. member who is:

  • Knowledgeable in A.A. history and the service structure.
  • Well acquainted with the various service positions and the principles and concepts that guide
    general service Familiar with the Twelve Traditions.
  • Familiar with The A.A. Service Manual and Twelve Concepts.

To find someone with this kind of experience and knowledge, you might consider some of the people
you meet or hear at area assemblies and service workshops.

For additional information, there is a section on the service sponsor in the A.A. pamphlet “Questions &
Answers on Sponsorship.
(Pg. 25)

Co-founder Dr. Bob said, “I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1. Sense of duty.
2. It is a pleasure.
3. Because in doing so I am paying my
debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.”

p.9-10 AA Service Manual

District 04 Santa Clara North