Sponsorship - Working with Others

helping hand Step 12 of the recovery programme states “having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps we tried to carry this message* to alcoholics…” Clearly this means the message contained in the 12 Steps, not a personal or individual idea of recovery divorced from these facts. Read Chapter 7 in your Big Book- that is how to carry “this message.”

Excerpts from Chapter 7 Working with others

“…If you are satisfied that he is a real alcoholic, begin to dwell on the hopeless feature of the malady. Show him from your own experience, how the queer mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power…”. “… Continue to speak of alcoholism as an illness. A fatal malady. Talk about the conditions of body and mind which accompany it…. Even though your protégé may not have entirely admitted his condition, he has become very curious to know how you got well. Let him ask you that question, if he will. Tell him exactly what happened to you. Stress the spiritual feature freely. If the man be agnostic or atheist, make it emphatic that he does not have to agree with your conception of God. He can choose any conception he likes, provided it makes sense to him. The main thing is that he be willing to believe in a Power Greater than himself and that he live by spiritual principles.” “… Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house….”

Excerpts from Chapter 11 A Vision for you.

“… Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come if your own house is in order, But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.* See to it that your relationship with Him is right and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the great fact for us. Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the road of happy destiny. May God bless you and keep you – until then.”

Excerpts from an article entitled “Leadership in AA” by Bill W.

“…While this article was first thought of in connection with our world service leadership, it is quite possible that many of its suggestions can be useful to everyone who takes an active part in our Society. Nowhere could this be more true than in the area of twelfth step work itself – something at which nearly all of us most eagerly work. Every sponsor is necessarily a leader.* The stakes are huge. A human life and usually the happiness of a whole family hang in the balance. What the sponsor does and says, how well he estimates the reactions of his prospect, how well he times and makes his presentation, how well he handles criticisms, and how well he leads his prospect on by personal spiritual example … well, these attributes of leadership can make all the difference, often the difference between life and death. We thank God that Alcoholics Anonymous is blessed with so much leadership in all its affairs.”


* emphasis is ours, Design for Living Group 2008

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