How to Start an AA Meeting

Help Others

By Roger C

What do you need to start an AA meeting? Very little, and nothing that is very tough.

There are four essentials (more or less) and here they are:

A few people. Besides yourself, you will need one or two other people who will take responsibility for the meetings: unlocking the door, making 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.

A place to meet. You will need a location for the meeting. And a regular day and time for your schedule.

A meeting agenda. You’ll need a meeting agenda (or format) of course. You can use my group’s agenda (Hamilton We Agnostics Meeting Format) and adapt it to suit your new group’s desires and needs.

Registration and publicity! You will want to get the word out about your meeting so those who need it can attend. You can register with the AA Intergroup in your area and they will put you on their meeting list, usually shared online and in pamphlets. And, in order to be an “official” AA group – often required by the Intergroups before your meeting is listed – you can fill out this New Group Form and register with the AA General Service Office (GSO). Finally, don’t forget to complete the New Secular AA Meeting Form on the Secular AA website, which lists all of the secular AA groups and meetings worldwide!

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] which deal specifically with the challenges that come with starting secular AA meetings.

Lots of helpful advice here: the name and format of the meeting, where it could be held…

That’s pretty much it. If you have any other questions, send us an email. We would be glad to help.

Best of luck when you decide to launch a new AA meeting!


Fellowship Hall

As an example and perhaps an inspiration: A “We Agnostics” meeting was initially launched in Hamilton, Ontario, at the First Unitarian Church on February 4, 2016. There are extra tables, chairs, easily accessible washrooms, a kitchen to make coffee, and lots of parking space. Held every Thursday, there are usually some 20 people in attendance. A success? You bet! A second meeting was launched at the same place on September 10, 2018 and is held every Monday.