We need to serve God more than He needs us to serve Him. Sponsorship and discipling can open doors we never imagined. Many people in CIR are looking for an accountability partner, recovery buddy or sponsor (also known as a mentor, coach or disciple). We encourage you to step forward and agree to worth others.
What is a Recovery Buddy?
- A buddy can be viewed as a mentor, an accountability partner and/or someone with whom you can share and walk the path of recovery together.
- Also see: Recovery Buddy & Accountability Partners are Important & Biblical
Do I need a Buddy?
- If you feel alone, isolated or need some encouragement, a recovery buddy can help.
Is it important to have a Christian a recovery buddy?
- It helps tremendously because you can work together using the same foundation: the Bible, Jesus Christ, prayer and your faith.
Cam I have a Recovery Buddy/Sponsor of the opposite sex?
- For obvious reasons, it is never a good idea to seek out a sponsor or recovery buddy of the opposite sex. Inappropriate relationships occur which prove to be detrimental and even disastrous for both parties.
By the way, what exactly does an accountability partner or buddy do???
- A Sponsor is an individual in a 12 Step program who agrees to worth together with another person in the program. Acting as an accountability partner is a part of 12 Step recovery.
A recovery buddy is not responsible for the recovery or failure of the one they sponsor. The bottom line is that their recovery
is up to them. You just need to be there for them, to be a good listener and an encourager.
But I am not ready to be a recovery buddy !
- Jesus called “unschooled and ordinary men”. (Acts 4:13) You do not have to be a theologian or spiritual giant. Use your Bible for guidance. Pray and ask God for discernment. If you do not work with others in recovery you will miss out on the incredible privilege of sharing your life and the love of Christ with other people. Being a recovery buddy or accountability partner are ways for you to grow too!
Philippians 2:4 reminds us to “look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others.” Proverbs 11:25 “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
A Christian recovery buddy or accountability partner is responsible for:
- Letting the person you are working with know that you are doing it as part of your own recovery and not a professional responsibility
- Identify something God has recently taught you and share it with your partner.
- Assure your partner that you are available–and BE available!
You need not make yourself available any time day or night and you are not required to fulfill a sponsee’s needs if they are insatiable or unreasonable. Some times a very troubled person needs one or two secondary sponsors. If they need 24 hour help, professional care may be required.
If a situation arises that requires the attention of a professional:
- The accountability partners should meet regularly on a one to one basis.
- Pray for and with your buddy
- Encourage them to share what is on their heart and mind
- Be alert to the needs of your buddy
- The sponsor should help the sponsee to move forward in their recovery and not stagnate.
- Help your buddy to become more involved in local meetings
- Be an encourager
- Help them to keep it simple
- Do not give advice but act as a non-judgemental sounding board.
Guide but do not direct. Discuss options available but know that the decisions are up to your buddy and he/she is ultimately responsible for their own decisions.
- Each other’s privacy must be respected. Anything you discuss is strictly confidential.
- One buddy should not try to control or enable their partner buddy. Buddies should not try to manipulate one another.
- Avoid business, financial and emotional aspects of the relationship. Keep it on a responsible level.
When you choose a recovery buddy look for someone who:
- is the same gender as you.
- has a track record of *quality* recovery
- who you feel comfortable with and with whom you can identify
- you feel is spiritually mature and wise
- is trustworthy and objective
- will be available for you
- has tough love, yet is compassionate
- is humble (not proud or self-righteous)
- will be truly concerned about your needs and struggles but will also hold you accountable
- has a positive attitude
- is strong but does not have a need to control others
Tips For Sponsors
- Don’t do service work only when it is convenient. Do it every day because every day there is someone in need.
- Be of maximum help to others.
- Understand that everything you are told is confidential.
- Be humble. Pride and self-righteousness have no place in a good sponsor.
- Take the gift you have been given by the grace of God and share it with someone who is still suffering.
- Be genuinely concerned for your sponsor but do not allow yourself to be manipulated by them.
- Do not bully your sponsee or in any way think that you are “holier than thou.”
- Share honestly.
- Be a good listener.
- Don’t try to teach your sponsee everything. Allow them to learn on their own too. Learned lessons tend to “stick.”
- Keep an open mind. You just might learn something from your sponsee.
Tips For Sponsees
- Call your sponsor every day — not just when it is convenient or when you are white knuckling it.
- Keep an open mind. You just might learn something from your sponsor.
- Do not become overly dependent on one person for your own recovery. Many have wisdom to share.
- Don’t work on your recovery just enough to get by or just enough to keep your sponsor happy. You only get out as much as you put in to recovery.
- Be accountable to others, yourself and above all to God.
- Share honestly.
- Listen. Take the cotton out of your ears and stick it in your mouth!
- Take Responsibility
- There is a sponsor available for everyone. It takes time to find one who is a “good fit.”
- There is nothing you can do to keep your Christian recovery friends from loving you.
When become a recovery buddy and you are doing it solely out of love for God and a desire to further His kingdom, an unrivaled inner satisfaction fills your
He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Free Accountability Software:
- X3watch is a Free accountability software program helping with online integrity. Whenever you browse the Internet and access a site which may contain questionable material, the program will save the site name on your computer in a hidden folder. A person of your choice (an accountability partner) will receive an email containing all possible questionable sites you may have visited within the month.
This information is meant to encourage open and honest conversation between friends and help us all be more accountable.
Twelve Step Sponsorship
Down to Earth Discipling
by Scott Morton