Are AA members required to sponsor others?
I know in the Big Book it does not say we must be a sponsor, but I know someone who was asked to be a sponsor but cannot due to their personal problems and limitations. But they are more than willing to help that person or any other person to stay sober. Someone told her that she must sponsor, that is what we do to carry the message.
Does someone have to be a sponsor to be working the program?
AA asks very little of the individual. The only things that closely approach being *requirements* of an AA member are the obligations to have a desire to stop drinking, to maintain personal anonymity at the public level and to protect the anonymity of others. Like the fellowship's name would imply the "requirements" are to be an anonymous alcoholic.
Even The 12 Steps are specifically stated as suggestions and not requirements. AA doesn't even *require* members to quit drinking - only to have a desire to quit! However, as is the case with much of the program, not drinking is a *very* strong suggestion.
Both having a sponsor and being a sponsor are personal choices and entirely voluntary. The 12th Step encourages us to help others but that can take innumerable forms. Being a sponsor is a great thing to do but is never "required."
Many people that are not fully familiar with AA's lack of structure and Traditions assume that, like most large organizations, AA must have a list of rules or code of conduct but we simply don't. The organization is guided by the 12 Traditions and the traditions don't ask much of the individual.