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    « New Groups and CR Curriculum | Main | Celebrate Recovery Global Website »

    Celebrate Recovery Sponsor and Accountability Partners

    In my last blog I explained what our role is concerning Sponsors. Our role as a CR Ministry is to educate the newcomer about the importance of finding a Sponsor, the role of a Sponsor, and the characteristics to look for in a Sponsor. Today I am going to talk about what our role is not.

    Once a participant has the tools to choose a Sponsor wisely, the ultimate decision is theirs to make. At the CR Model we do not assign or oversee these relationships. Our role is not to assign Sponsors, or Accountability Partners, for that matter. Years ago I learned of a step study group leader who thought it best to assign Accountability Partners, rather than allow the group participants to get to know each other and choose for themselves. She proceeded to assign the person on their left. Since Step study groups are not issue specific, she wound up pairing up a co-dependent with an addict. This arrangement ended up hurting the individuals, the group and the group leader.

    Anyone who has met the basic requirements to Sponsor should be encouraged to take on this responsibility. (To find the prerequisites to Sponsor go to your Advanced Leadership Training Guide; Modular 9 Training Sponsors) There may be several attendees qualified to sponsor, but not yet able to meet all of your leadership requirements. They, too, may sponsor others as part of serving in the ministry. If you only allow your group leaders to sponsor the newcomer you are setting your leaders up for leader burnout! What happens when your CR Ministry grows from 10 to 50 to 100 or even 500 people? At the CR Model we have 96 leaders and over a 1,000 participants. I’ll burnout just thinking about it!

    Our role is not to manage these relationships. We do not recommend trying to control these relationships. (By the way, we have a group for thatJ) However, Ministry Leaders may, and should, hold CR Leaders accountable. We are responsible for our leadership, therefore should conflicts arise between a Sponsor and a Sponsee, the Ministry Leader may provide guidance and help towards reconciliation. Let it suffice to say that in the case of a non-leader Sponsor and Sponsee conflict that is causing harm to the overall health of your CR Ministry, you must intervene.

    It’s easy to feel anxious for the newcomer. After all we know what works. But, we must allow God’s power to work in the hearts and minds of our newcomers.

    Be encouraged!

    Reader Comments (2)

    Hi, my name is Rafael, a fervently believer of Christ, in recovery from unforgiveness that has overcome anger.

    I serve as leader in a CR group in Burnet TX, sponsor by Hill Country Fellowship. Because we are a very small group I volunteer as a leader. Last week one of the attendees asked me to be his sponsor or accountablity partner. But I feel I'm not qualify for this, I don't feel worthy, still working my recovery.

    Should I trust in the Lord on this responsability as an accountability partner or should I say to him that I am still not capable or eligible for that?
    August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRafael Vila
    I just agreed to become a sponser for the 1st time and feel like you. Overwhelmed but the person feels more comfortable with me than any other so I'm doing it. Hope the following that I copied and pasted will help. God's got this.

    Celebrate Recovery
    Revised 2004-08-12 Sponsor-1
    The Role Of A Sponsor
    1. A sponsor can be there to discuss issues in detail that are too personal
    or would take too much time in a meeting.
    2. A sponsor is there to model Christ’s grace and forgiveness, and to give a
    sense of perspective.
    3. A sponsor is available in times of crisis or potential relapse.
    4. A sponsor serves as a sounding board by providing an objective point of
    5. A sponsor is there to encourage an individual to work the principles at
    their own speed.
    6. A sponsor attempts to model the lifestyle that results from working the
    eight principles.
    Qualities Of A Sponsor
    1. Lives the eight principles.
    2. Exhibits a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
    3. Expresses a desire to help others on the road to recovery.
    4. Shows compassion, care, and hope, but not pity.
    5. Shows a willingness to listen.
    6. Strong enough to confront denial or procrastination.
    7. Willing to offer suggestions.
    8. Open in sharing their own current struggles.
    Helpful Suggestions For A Sponsor
    Before agreeing to sponsor someone, meet with them and discuss some of
    the following things with them. This should help both parties be clear before
    entering this relationship.
    1. A sponsor can resign or be fired. This is not a lifelong commitment.
    2. Agree on the length of time for the sponsorship. Will it be for the 4th
    and 5th step only or for more than that?
    3. Discuss expectations before agreeing to be a sponsor. What do they
    want from you? What do you expect them to do?
    4. Agree with each other on how you will interact. Will you call them? Will
    they call you? How much time do they want? How much time can you
    5. Set specific times to get together and evaluate how the relationship is
    6. Agree on how the relationship can be ended. Discuss this ahead of time
    so no one feels rejected or uncomfortable if this happens.
    May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck Tmlnsn

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