Saturday, 27 February 2016

Don't like your local meeting?

I meet a lot of people who don't like their local meetings because they are weak and full of people who moan or talk about anything but recovery.

The solution is to start a meeting.

Here is a good format:

XXX Big Book Step—Meeting Script

Welcome to XXX Big Book Step Group of Alcoholics Anonymous. My name’s ............ and I’m an alcoholic. Could we please have a moment’s silence to remember why we’re here and the still suffering alcoholic both in and out of the rooms?

I’ve asked _______________________ to read the preamble.

This is a closed meeting of AA. In support of AA’s singleness of purpose, attendance at closed meetings is limited to persons who have a desire to stop drinking. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you are welcome to attend this meeting.

Are there any visitors from out of town or other groups who would like to introduce themselves?

Are there any newcomers to AA who would like to introduce themselves? This is not to embarrass you; this is simply to give you the welcome we enjoyed when we first came in.

The format of this Big Book Step meeting is as follows: the instructions for taking the Twelve Steps are contained in the book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’, from which our fellowship takes its name. Each week, a reader reads a section on the relevant step, and then a speaker shares specifically on his or her experience of the passage, for ten minutes or so. This is followed by sharing from the floor, also specifically on the passage. If you have not taken this step, we suggest you just listen for now.

_______________________ has agreed to read a passage from the Big Book on today’s topic, which is ______________________________________________.

It now gives me pleasure to introduce _______________________, who has come to share with us on today’s topic, which is ____________________________________________.

I now invite you to share your experience, strength, and hope in relation to what we have read. Our time-keeper _______________________ will ring the bell after each person has been sharing for four minutes. This is a sign to wind up your sharing. Our aim is to enable everyone who wishes to contribute to do so. There may be time at the end to share again. Please be respectful of others in your sharing. The meeting is now open.

[If there is spare time] If no one else wishes to share on the topic, please feel free to come in and share your experience of any part of the Big Book or the Twelve Steps.

[At 8.25 p.m. or so]

That’s all the time we have for sharing, I’m afraid, but it’s not quite the end of the meeting.

We now practise Tradition 7, which states that AA groups ought to be fully supported by the voluntary contributions of their own members. Whilst the pot is going round, are there any AA-related announcements? [Make sure pot makes it all the way round.]

In this group, we believe that sponsorship is an important resource in recovery. Would all those willing to act as sponsors or answer questions about sponsorship please raise their hands now and keep them raised? If you are looking for a sponsor or have questions, please see one of these people afterwards.

I’d like to thank the service members of the group for making this meeting possible.

If you have enjoyed this meeting and would like to become a service member of the group in order to participate in its running, we invite you to attend our monthly business meetings, which are held immediately after the Big Book Step meeting on the first Friday of each month, and we will offer you a service assignment. Talk to any of the service members of the group, who are now raising their hands, if you have any questions.

Would you please join me in the Serenity Prayer to close our meeting. God ...

XXX Big Book Step—Business Meeting Script

Business meeting script

Welcome to the XXX Big Book Step business meeting

My name’s ............ and I’m and alcoholic.

I’ve asked ............ to read the short form of the Twelve Traditions.

Business meeting preamble

For the group to run smoothly, it needs officers, to take care of everything from setting up and making the tea to handling the group’s finances.

These officers make up the steering committee, which resolves questions about ‘what a group should do, and how’. We, the steering committee, meet once a month to resolve such questions, to elect new officers, and for existing officers to report back to those they serve on their service assignments.

Performing service and decision-making go hand in hand. We invite any alcoholic wishing to join the group to attend our business meetings, and we will find you a service assignment.

Twice a year—in August and February—we hold a group conscience meeting in the place of the business meeting. This takes the form of a Group Inventory.

We refer to the pamphlet ‘the AA Group’ and to the ‘AA Service/Structure Handbooks for Great Britain’ for guidance on all group matters.

Brief officers’ reports in alphabetical order

Alternates—Chair—Greeters—GSR—Literature secretary—PI committee—Secretary—Setting up—Setting down—Tea-maker—Speaker-finder—Timekeeper—Treasurer—Washing up

Election of new officers

Other matters

Would you please join me in the Serenity Prayer to close our meeting?

XXX Big Book Step

Group procedures

1. We refer to the pamphlet ‘the AA Group’ and to the ‘AA Service/Structure Handbooks for Great Britain’ for guidance.

2. Group service members are those who are carrying out service assignments for the group. These people make the decisions.

3. The roles of GSR and treasurer are for two years. The role of secretary is for one year. All other posts are for six months. The GSR and treasurer should be over one year sober. The chairperson and secretary should be over six months sober. There is no sobriety requirement for the remaining service assignments. The treasurer, in addition, should be known to the group and solvent.

4. If there are more potential group service members than service assignments available, new posts may be created or existing posts may be split. There are also posts available as alternates.

5. If a service member is unable to attend a meeting one week, he or she should find someone to deputise from amongst the alternates and let the chair know about the deputisation.

6. If a service member fails to attend for three weeks without notifying the group, the position falls vacant, and the other service members take care of the role until a new service member is elected.

7. The secretary maintains and distributes amongst the service members only a confidential list of the service members’ telephone numbers plus the scripts and procedures. Inclusion on this list is entirely voluntary.

8. Urgent matters may be resolved between meetings jointly by the chair, secretary, GSR, and treasurer, but final responsibility and ultimate authority will rest with the steering committee at the next business meeting.

9. Major matters affecting the group (e.g. location, time, day, and length of the meeting, primary purpose of the group, general format and structure, subject matter of the meetings) are discussed only at the six-monthly group conscience meetings. To provide continuity and stability, no major changes are agreed at business meetings, unless circumstances make this necessary.

Topic rotation:


Step One (physical allergy)

Step One (mental obsession)

Step One (spiritual malady)

Step Two

Step Three (first requirement)

Step Three (implementation of the step)

Step Four (resentment inventory, first three columns)

Step Four (resentment inventory, bridge passage and fourth column)

Step Four (fear inventory)

Step Four (sex inventory)

Step Five

Steps Six + Seven

Step Eight

Step Nine

Step Ten

Step Eleven (evening)

Step Eleven (morning)

Step Twelve (spiritual awakening)

Step Twelve (carrying the message)

Step Twelve (practising these principles in all our affairs)