What do you need to start an AA meeting?
Some 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.
You’ll need a meeting format of course. You can use the Secular AA Meeting Format and adapt it to suit your new group’s desires and needs.
For all kinds of other information (flyers, pamphlets, etc.) you can also visit the website Secular AA. And, once it’s up and running, make sure to have your meeting and its details listed! You can do that by completing the “New Meeting Form” included under the “Secular Meetings” tab.
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.
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…
Of course, you’ll also have questions about the mechanics of a group and its meeting(s), and fortunately the 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.
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!
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.