What do you need to start a new AA meeting?
Some old-timers will tell you that all you need is a resentment and a coffee pot.
That’s because many new meetings get started when a few AA members find something amiss and decide they want a meeting of their own.
In fact, it’s not much more complicated than that.
To start your new meeting you’ll need a format (or script) of course. You can use the Beyond Belief Meeting Format and adapt it to suit your new group’s desires and needs.
And you will need a small group of people who will take responsibility for the meetings: unlocking the door, finding a chairperson, making the coffee… The long form of Tradition Three lays out the very simple requirements 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 its meeting(s), 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 meetings in AA.
If at some point, you want a pamphlet so that people know more about your meeting, here’s one that was created by groups in New York City: AA Agnostics NYC Pamphlet.
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 meeting!
And if you are considering a new agnostic or atheist group, and need some help, please consider filling out the form here: An Agnostic Group in my Community.
You can download How to Start an AA Meeting here, if you wish.