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Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor (Why You Need One)

One of the most rewarding parts of recovery happens in Celebrate Recovery lesson 7 (Sponsor) because you get to know someone you will become very intimate with. 

The sponsor relationship will not be a romantic one by any means, but you will get to know this person very well, or rather they will get to know you very well!

Without this part of Celebrate Recovery, you won’t be able to complete the 12 steps that make up the complete recovery process. 

This lesson will guide you through what a sponsor is and how one can best help you through your recovery. It will also cover your accountability partners – another important aspect of Celebrate Recovery or any recovery program for that matter!

Like an accountability partner, a sponsor will help you in your recovery, and this lesson will help you find the right people to add to your life during your recovery process.

In the next lesson, you will begin to write your moral inventory, and you’ll need the help of other people to fully complete this task!

Celebrate Recovery lesson seven will help you pull together your accountability team so that you can successfully complete your road to recovery! 

This lesson goes with Step 4 of the Alcoholics Anonymous program and Celebrate Recovery. Likewise, it corresponds with Celebrate Recovery’s principle 4 of the Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles

Grab a pen and paper to write down the details from this lesson, but because it’s so short, there will be no additional study guide with this lesson. 

If you just started Celebrate Recovery, go to Celebrate Recovery Lesson 1: Denial. If you are on track, check out Celebrate Recovery Lesson 6: Action for the last lesson and free study guide!

Happy are the pure in heart, for they see God. – Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

What is Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor?

Celebrate Recovery principle 4 is: to Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust. Step 4 states: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. This lesson can be a bit scary as you meet someone new, but you will be so glad that you found them when all is said and done.

Happy are the pure in heart. – Matthew 5:8 (TLB)

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. – Lamentations 3:40 (TLB)

LessonPrincipleStepBible Verses
744Matthew 5:8; Lamentations 3:40

While Celebrate Recovery typically uses acronyms, in CR lesson 7, we see the answers to several questions instead.

The questions from Celebrate Recovery lesson seven are as follows:

  • Why do I need a sponsor and/or an accountability partner?
  • What are the qualities of a sponsor?
  • What is the role of a sponsor?
  • How do I find a sponsor and/or an accountability partner?
  • What is the difference between a sponsor and an accountability partner?

Allow yourself to be open to new experiences, and your heart will guide the way!

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Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor

What Does “Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7” Mean?

Step studies, which are part of the recovery program, Celebrate Recovery, are where you go to work through the Celebrate Recovery curriculum created by Rick Warren and John Baker. 

Step studies are usually small groups that last for a few months. If you are new, Celebrate Recovery, or CR, is a 12-step, Christ-centered recovery program for anyone with hurts, habits, or hang-ups. Doesn’t everyone have a hurt, habit, or hang-up?

Celebrate Recovery lesson 7 is from John Baker’s Celebrate Recovery Participant’s Guide. This is the first lesson in Taking an Honest and Spiritual Inventory: Participant’s Guide 2. You can likely purchase this study guide in your step study group or at a CR meeting.

The Celebrate Recovery leader guide might be a little different from the participant’s guide, but all the teachings you will learn are based on the Beatitudes from the New Testament in the Bible, so when you study the Celebrate Recovery 8 principles, you are using those particular Bible verses.

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor. – Matthew 5:3 (TLB)

Celebrate Recovery Lesson Seven Highlights

What is a Sponsor?

While many of the Celebrate Recovery concepts take some understanding, the definition of a sponsor is pretty straightforward. A sponsor is an individual who has completed the 12-step recovery process, someone who has gone through the 4 participation guides, and someone who has therefore covered all of the CR lessons. 

They have done their moral inventory and confessed it aloud to a sponsor of their own or a sound accountability partner. It’s important that you find someone you trust to be their “person” for you, someone you are comfortable around, and someone you can talk to.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

Why Do I Need a Sponsor and/or an Accountability Partner?

Having a sponsor is not only vital for your recovery, but it is also biblical. You can build one another up and help each other on your road to recovery.

Two are better off than one because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up. But if someone is alone…there is no one to help him…Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (GNT)

Having a sponsor or accountability partner is also a key element for you to find success in your recovery program. Believe me, having help during this time is what you need. You might think you can go it alone, but in reality, you need the support that a sponsor can provide.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

Finally, having a sponsor and/or accountability partner is the best way to guard against relapse. A sponsor will help you stay on track, lead you in the right direction, and notice when things are not going as planned. 

What’s great about having someone like this in your life is that they will be able to tell when your past hurt, habit, or hang-up returns, and they can help you ward them off. This individual will also be able to confront you with truth in a loving way, without making you feel guilt or shame.

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor

What are the Qualities of a Sponsor?

As you go through your new Celebrate Recovery friends, trying to decide who will be a suitable sponsor for you, you should look for certain traits or qualities. Think about who you have met in CR meetings and who you get along with.

Ask yourself the following questions as you look for a proper sponsor. Remember, no one is perfect as everyone’s road is a little rocky from time to time. 

  • Does their walk match their talk?
  • Does he or she live by the Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles?
  • Do they have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ?
  • Do they express a desire to help others on their road to recovery?
  • Is he or she a good listener?
  • Do they show compassion, hope, and care – not pity?
  • Are they strong enough to confront your denial or procrastination?
  • Does he or she offer suggestions?
  • Can he or she share his or her own current struggles with you and others?

Though good advice lies deep within a counselor’s heart, the wise man will draw it out. – Proverbs 20:5 (TLB)

What is the Role of a Sponsor?

A sponsor is very similar to a mentor, except you will be confiding in them with your innermost secrets. Find someone that you can trust and rely upon.

  • They are able to be there for you to discuss in detail any issues that are too personal for a CR meeting.
  • He or she is available in times of crisis or relapse.
  • They are able to serve as a sounding board, as an objective point of view.
  • He or she is able to encourage you to work on the Celebrate Recovery 8 Principles at your own rate.
  • They do not work the Celebrate Recovery 12 steps for you!
  • He or she is a great example of someone who can work through the CR 8 principles.
  • They can resign or be fired at any time.

How Do I Find a Sponsor and/or an Accountability Partner?

One rule Celebrate Recovery has is that your sponsor must be of the same sex as you. The study guide recommends that you listen to what other people share in your small group and in the meetings. Who can you relate with the most?

Ask other members of CR to coffee after meetings to get to know them better. If you connect with someone and want them to be your sponsor, you can always ask. Just don’t take rejection personally; they may just have too much on their plate. 

Ask another person to be your sponsor if the first person you ask says no. You can even ask around for a “temporary” sponsor until you find someone who is a good permanent fit for you. Pray that God leads you to the right person, the person of His choosing. 

Remember that God has a plan in your life for everything. If the right person hasn’t come along, God knows why. 

Just continue to pray and seek out similar individuals like yourself. Everything will work according to the right purpose. Just have a little faith.

Related: How to Pray (A Beginner’s Guide)

What is the Difference between a Sponsor and an Accountability Partner?

A sponsor has completed the 12 steps of the Celebrate Recovery program. He or she has gone through the 4 participant’s guides, worked the 8 principles of CR, and has basically finished but is always continuing to work through the entire 12-step program. 

An accountability partner, on the other hand, might have done these things, but this person is there for you to hold you accountable in the areas that you struggle with. They might help you go to a meeting when you desperately need one or give you a call to check-in. You are able to encourage one another as you work through the program.

You can have multiple accountability partners that can act as a team with the goal of keeping you on track. A sponsor is more like a single coach that encourages you and keeps you on the road to recovery.

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor

CR Lesson 7 Notes

According to the Celebrate Recovery curriculum, you should build friendships with those you meet at Celebrate Recovery so that you will have plenty of people to keep you accountable for your actions. You’ll want to have people in your life that you can get encouragement from

Your accountability team should be people that you meet on your road to recovery who have shared in your experiences, trials, strengths, and hope for the future. They should know you.

The reason you need these people as part of your recovery plan is to ensure success. There are four elements to success for the Celebrate Recovery program:

  • Be the best you can be, maintaining an honest view of reality as you work through each principle. To do this, you should have a strong accountability team, including a sponsor.
  • Attend Celebrate Recovery meetings. Make this a priority in your life, understanding that your accountability team will be there to greet you, notice your absence, and/or support you. 
  • Rely on your accountability team to help you maintain your spiritual program with Jesus Christ through the use of prayer, meditation, and Bible study.
  • Involve yourself in service as part of the CR program, which includes one day being a sponsor yourself and/or an accountability team member for someone else. 

Helpful Hints to Help You Succeed in Celebrate Recovery

In this lesson, we have learned that we need to devote ourselves to prayer, meditation, and studying the Bible. I really hope that you find comfort in these things, as they are critical elements in spending time with God

As you devote time to Bible study, you might need a few Bibles and Bible reference books to get the most of your time with God. If you need a study Bible, there is a Celebrate Recovery Study Bible that you can purchase. That is the NIV version of the study Bible.

The NLT (New Living Translation) version of the Celebrate Recovery Study Bible would probably be my recommendation, as I prefer that translation. You can also enjoy a 365-Day Celebrate Recovery Devotional Book that helps with healing during recovery!

As you devote yourself to prayer and meditation, consider memorizing the Celebrate Recovery Serenity Prayer. It will certainly come in handy as you complete the 12-step program. When you are in times of crisis, it is a great thing to know off the top of your head!

Lesson 7 Questions 

  • Why do you need a support team?
  • What qualities do you need to look for in a sponsor?
  • Have you been trying to find a sponsor?
  • How have you tried to find a sponsor and/or accountability team?
  • Where else could you look for these people in your life?
  • What is the difference between a sponsor and an accountability partner?
  • Make a list of the names and contact information for your new support team.

A Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor Video

My Story – Celebrate Recovery Lesson Seven

It’s time for me to get personal

I’m Michele, a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I celebrate recovery from alcoholism and addictions. I currently struggle with perfectionism and social anxiety. Also, because of my addictive personality, I can be a bit obsessive when it comes to my career in writing.

How I Built My Support Team

I qualify to be a sponsor, as I have graduated from the Celebrate Recovery 12-step program, but it is not something I have ever done. However, I am an accountability partner and have a great accountability team!

I have a wonderful sponsor named Angi. She’s a great listener, a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, and a devoted leader in the Celebrate Recovery program.

Let’s look at my personal testimony as it relates to this lesson! I’ll start by introducing myself in the CR way. 

For me, having a sponsor was critical during the 12 steps, as I needed someone to turn to when things were hard, someone for encouragement and advice, someone who made it harder for me to quit when things didn’t go my way, and someone who expected success out of me!

When I was looking for a sponsor, I wanted someone who was understanding, available, accepting, honest, positive, and a good listener. I wanted a person who was easy to talk to, as I had a lot to share in my personal testimony; it wasn’t easy!

Also, I looked for someone who had a solid foundation in the Lord and someone who was growing in their recovery. I didn’t want anyone who would allow me to be spiritually lazy or permit me to slip in my recovery. I wanted good spiritual advice. Luckily, I found this person!

I found my sponsor in my CR 12-step meetings. During the small group meetings, I found someone with similar struggles. I also searched for my accountability team in my step study group, which is where I found them, so, of course, I highly recommend step studies!

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor

The Difference Between a Sponsor and Accountability Team Member

As you search for your accountability team, you will want to pay attention to the people you can relate to and those who are good Christian examples. Find people that you have a common foundation with. Try to socialize more to build your accountability team.

There is a difference between a sponsor and an accountability partner. A sponsor is your coach, someone who has completed the program, and someone you can set goals with. Your sponsor is someone you can talk about your problems with, a role model you can depend on, and someone who is there for you through the thick of it all – the good and the bad.

An accountability partner is more like a friend, a teammate, someone who can hold you accountable for certain things. You will want someone you can depend on, someone who will call you if they do not see you at a CR meeting, and someone who you can talk with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Celebrate Recovery 12 steps?

The Celebrate Recovery 12 steps are based on the 12 steps from Alcoholics Anonymous.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. We decided to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We admitted to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. We continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having a spiritual experience resulting from these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

What are Celebrate Recovery 8 principles?

The Celebrate Recovery 8 principles are the following points. 

  1. Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
  2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.
  3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
  4. Openly examine and confess my faults to me, to God, and to someone I trust.
  5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
  6. Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.
  7. Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.
  8. Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

What is the Celebrate Recovery Serenity Prayer?

The Celebrate Recovery Serenity Prayer is God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. This will help you on your road to recovery, so memorize it!

What is the purpose of Celebrate Recovery?

The purpose of Celebrate Recovery is to help you through your struggles – your hurts, habits, and hang-ups. This 12-step program is Christ-centered and helps you learn to trust in the Lord as you work the 12 steps, 8 principles, and 4 participant guides.

What can I expect from Celebrate Recovery?

At Celebrate Recovery, you can expect a safe environment, a place where you can share about your hurts, habits, and hang-ups. It is an anonymous program, so you are not required to actually speak, but it’s a great way to move along on your road to recovery.

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor


I hope you are on your way to recovery with success right now! We’ve covered a lot in this article, including:

  • What is Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7: Sponsor?
  • An Overview of What Celebrate Recovery Is
  • A Summary of the Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7 Study Guide
  • Questions from the CR Lesson 7 Study Guide
  • A Celebrate Recovery Video on Lesson 7
  • My Story as It Relates to Celebrate Recovery Lesson 7
  • And More!

To help spread the word about the great Celebrate Recovery 12-step program, something that has changed the life of many, please share this post on social media. 

If you have any thoughts or comments about Celebrate Recovery that you would like to share, please leave a comment!

Don’t forget to grab a copy of the free printable Serenity Prayers in my shop!! There are many different beautiful options to choose from!

As we continue in our Celebrate Recovery journey, the next exciting lesson will be Celebrate Recovery Lesson 8: Moral, where we will start building our moral inventory! 

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