What do you need to start a new AA group?
Some old-timers will tell you that all you need is a resentment and a coffee pot.
That’s because many new groups get started when a few people find something amiss in their current group and decide they want a group of their own.
In fact, it’s not much more complicated than that.
You’ll need a meeting format of course. You can use the Beyond Belief Meeting Format and adapt it to suit your new group’s desires and needs.
The long form of Tradition Three lays out the fundamental principles of an AA group:
Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.
That’s pretty straightforward.
Of course, you’ll also have questions about the mechanics of a group, and fortunately your AA service office – the General Service Office (GSO) - has some answers. You know, questions like: What does a secretary do? How do you get on the area meeting list? How does a group interact with AA as a whole? What on earth is a group conscience? All of these questions – and more! – are dealt with in this 52 page pamphlet, The AA Group …Where it All Begins.
Once you feel you’re off to a good start, you can complete the New Group Form and register with the GSO.
Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] which deal specifically with the challenges that come with starting an agnostic / atheist / freethinkers group in AA.
That’s pretty much it. If you have any other questions, send us an email. We would be glad to help.
Best of luck if you decide to launch a new AA group!
And if you are specifically considering a new agnostic or atheist group, please consider filling out the form here: An Agnostic Group in my Community.
You can download How to Start an AA Group here, if you wish.