Being Of Service In A.A.
Being of Service in AA
Doing service is voluntary but it is embedded in AA culture and is considered helpful both to the recovery of the individual member and to AA as a whole. Service positions include being involved in the running of a meeting, being a greeter, making coffee or being the secretary and/or being involved in the functioning of AA as an organization.
A.A. isn’t governed like an organization, but it does rely on the combined expertise and volunteerism of individuals in local groups, the local intergroup or central office, institution committees, and general service.
Remember back to when you first started going to meetings, how confused and a little afraid you were? What you were really afraid of was what you didn’t know – how A.A. worked and what was expected of you. Then, someone came forward and invited you in and suddenly this meeting place didn’t seem quite so intimidating after all.
Part of helping out in your local A.A. meeting is as easy as greeting newcomers and helping to put them at ease with a smile, a hearty handshake, and a few gentle words of welcome. Becoming active in your local group could also involve volunteering to set out the chairs, ensure the coffee is brewed and hot, that the cups are all arranged. After the meeting is over, there’s the breakdown of chairs, cleaning the coffee pot, disposing of the cups, taking out the trash, and other duties. Someone has to do this and even if there’s a person who regularly does it, you can offer to help to speed things along.
What do such simple tasks have to do with being of service?
Actually, a lot. What happens is that you begin to incorporate being of service in how you live your life every day. Maybe it’s a small thing to help out at a meeting, but it’s certainly a start. From there, many other instances of being of service can grow.
Let’s say that your local chapter plans to get involved with other groups to conduct a seminar, or work on state conference details as part of a committee. Maybe your group has a jobs fair or skills training workshop. You can volunteer to help out, lend your expertise, put out literature, make phone calls, whatever.
The simplest explanation of what it means to be of service to others in recovery
This also includes recovery from drugs, compulsive gambling, compulsive sexual behavior, workaholism, compulsive spending, substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorder – is that you’re ready to help someone in recovery who’s in need — anytime and anywhere.
Maybe that’s being on the other end of the phone when your friend (or 12-step group acquaintance) calls you crying and begging for help. You don’t have to be his or her sponsor to lend your support. Just the fact that you take the time to listen to the person’s concerns is often enough to get them over the immediate issue. Maybe their sponsor wasn’t available and the individual thought to call you because you hit it off together at various meetings or somehow seemed to share a similar background.
It could be offering to pick up and take a newcomer to a meeting or buying the person a cup of coffee during a time of need.
So, one-on-one help is an important part of being in service to others in recovery. But it’s not the only way you can help accomplish the work of Step Twelve. Contact us below or check out our recovery program to find out more!