Is it okay to assign readings to a sponsee for discussion?
Those who do not read are no better off than those who cannot.
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. Mark Twain
Yes. In fact, it’s good idea to give reading assignments to your sponsee. Be aware of illiteracy some unfortunately have not learned to read they too can get well but there are certain things you as well as your sponsee have to do. Audio recordings of the Big Book and Twelve and Twelve and other program literature are available. It is suggested to read to your sponsee as they read the same selection as the retention rate goes up to 70%. Assignments in the Big Book or equivalent and in other program related literature can familiarize your sponsee with the program and provide specific topic for the two of you to discuss. Making an assignment has the added advantage of getting you to do the reading yourself.
Is it okay to give sponsees assignments other than reading
Good morning, Mr. Phelps, Your assignment, should you choose to accept it is a mission that is more than possible and necessary for a happy joyous and free life
It is, in my opinion, if the assignment is offered in the following way. I tell my sponsee that I want to give him an assignment because I believe that it will help him in his recovery. I explain what the assignment is and why I think it will help. I ask if he is willing to accept the assignment, If he is not, I ask why not, but then I let it go. If he accepts the assignment, I ask him to make a commitment to keep it. If he does not keep it, we discuss why he hasn’t. The advantage of this approach is that it keeps me from telling my sponsees what to do.
Great ability develops and reveals itself increasingly with every new assignment.
Never refuse an assignment except when there is a conflict of interest, sloth, lethargy, complacency, reruns of Bonanza
Some assignments might include, being of service anonymously in an out of the program. Chairing meetings at the local V.A. or chairing meetings at the local mental health facilities. Suggest they take the Twelve Step message of hope and recovery to the prisons and to the jails. Suggest cleaning their home group facility, setting up the chairs making coffee, cleaning cigarette ash trays (the good old days) and volunteering to be a meeting greeter. Make themselves available for Twelve Step calls. Suggest manning the intergroup phones to give directions and reassurance to someone who finds themselves desperate and alone. The list is endless with a little imagination prayer and consultation with your own sponsor.
Most of the time, the assignments I give sponsees are for a fixed terms, and they are designed to illustrate some character defect or to help him practice a Twelve Step principle or new behavior.