Sparking interest in service

From that ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee to AA's General Service Office. What's your take on service?
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iHeartAA
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Sparking interest in service

Post by iHeartAA »

Wow, no new posts since 2019? Ok, well I'll go.

I am a service nerd, seriously. When I came back to the rooms and got a home group, I begged for a service position. The position I got? Housekeeping, I clean the room after the meeting.

I see the value of service, it's getting out of my selfishness. As an alcoholic, I was always a taker, now I can be a giver. I care about Alcoholics Anonymous and it's future. I want to be in service for the rest of my days. I once heard a speaker say we don't need anymore one legacy members, we need Three Legacy members.

Many however, don't share my passion for service. The meeting ends, and people bolt for the doors. The district begs for new people to take positions, and it ends up being the same people rotating from one position to another. I went to a PRAASA conference in 2012, and had the time of my life. It was better than Disneyland!

The question is, how can we stimulate interest in service, to the home group and general service?
Ideas?
1Peter5:10
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Re: Sparking interest in service

Post by 1Peter5:10 »

Greetings iHeart,

Trying to generate interest in service is a good topic.
Alcoholism is first and foremost a selfish disease.

That said, when I, or any group of alcoholcs start thinking
"Other people should be doing this,"
or
"Other people should be doing that,"
we tend to be as mistaken as anyone.

My first thoughts
1) If a town has 10 helpful, serve-on-committee type recovering drunks, it can support 2 but not 3 AA groups.
(One morning one night?). If those same drunks ever formed into 3 groups instead of 2, they will always find "we need more volunteers."

2) If they form 2 groups and meet on two locations, suddenly a new need arises. Suddenly the town needs to send twice as many people to serve to the local intergroup. If those same groups meet in two different church basements instead of using the same one, they will always find "we need more volunteers."

3) The leadership of my first AA club including at least two people who, despite 10 plus years of not drinking were among the disagreeable people you could ever meet.
That group will always find, "we need more volunteers."

4) One of the groups above, used to be very very open to treatment centers sending van loads of court-ordered rehab patients, (gasp many of whom were small time drug dealers and youthful miscreants), When then that openness needed to be be amended, they amended it in a more heavy-handed way than I thought was wise and as a result, newcomers, fresh outta rehab, gravitate toward other groups.

That group now has a heavier concentration of members with more time, people who can rightfully said, "I already served on that board for 'X' number of years." Today it finds "We need more volunteers."
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PaigeB
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Re: Sparking interest in service

Post by PaigeB »

The same lack of passion - or maybe FEAR - keeps folks from service here at the Forums too. We are like any other Group on need of jobs done large and small. There is a particularly sad part to an online group... Since we may often be at opposite ends of the earth, sometimes people fall of without a word. Most recently a a member since 2006 and VERY active in service here, just stopped all communications. In the times of extreme weather and Covid, our minds tend to go to the worst case scenario.

Her service position remains unfilled... I don't know if anyone really knows how she did the inner workings (tech) stuff that she did. We should ALWAYS be joyfully "training" our replacements! I know she would agree - but there just were no people to pass it on to.

It all begins with joining the Group Conscience and asking questions and taking small jobs. I was dish washer for a while and learned where all the cups & plates went, where we stored our coffee and meeting boxes and I got into a lot of good chats with newcomers - soon I was watching newbies wash dishes and then I got to see them grow to being the Grapevine Rep. and all the other possibilities! Oh and they are ALSO valuable members contributing to society!

Join today!
viewtopic.php?f=10&p=170375#p170375
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
iHeartAA
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Re: Sparking interest in service

Post by iHeartAA »

Well Paige, I’ll join the group conscious as soon as I’ve been registered for three months.
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Brock
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Re: Sparking interest in service

Post by Brock »

I have found that AA service suffers from two main problems, firstly as iHeart said - “...it ends up being the same people rotating from one position to another…” and in my area I have also found that some members sort of identify with a certain position, and it’s very hard to get them to rotate out of it. One person I know actually boasts that he was the ‘coffee man’ of his group for ten years, and nobody else could dare touch the coffee while he was there. The sad part is he sort of feels that is a demonstration of good AA service, and the others in the group didn’t set him straight and make him give it up to anyone else who asked to assist. It’s actually being selfish in a position that is meant to demonstrate how we are willing to serve in a humble unselfish way.

I think the best way to stimulate interest in service, is to make more mention of the fact that especially in early sobriety it helps us feel ‘part of’ the group, and for those who are shy it’s a way to fit in and build confidence. I would even say it helps us stay sober before we complete the steps, the thought of a drink is brushed aside when we think of how we would be letting down the group that depends on us for a certain service.

The 12 & 12 actually speaks of service being twelve step work -
Nor is this the only kind of Twelfth Step work. We sit in A.A. meetings and listen, not only to receive something ourselves, but to give the reassurance and support which our presence can bring. If our turn comes to speak at a meeting, we again try to carry A.A.'s message. Whether our audience is one or many, it is still Twelfth Step work. There are many opportunities even for those of us who feel unable to speak at meetings or who are so situated that we cannot do much face-to-face Twelfth Step work. We can be the ones who take on the unspectacular but important tasks that make good Twelfth Step work possible, perhaps arranging for the coffee and cake after the meetings, where so many skeptical, suspicious newcomers have found confidence and comfort in the laughter and talk. This is Twelfth Step work in the very best sense of the word. “Freely ye have received; freely give . . .” is the core of this part of Step Twelve.
Starting a new topic here is service, even contributing a few words to an existing one, AA is not a spectator sport, getting involved is the way to succeed.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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PaigeB
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Re: Sparking interest in service

Post by PaigeB »

iHeartAA wrote: Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:48 pm Well Paige, I’ll join the group conscious as soon as I’ve been registered for three months.
Great news! We don't have a monthly meeting or anything - but we do have monthly reports and such. And when a decision needs to be made - we have a Forum for that!
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
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