Workshops, Meetings, Training Talks, and Conferences
“Old-School” Christian Recovery
Programs, Fellowships, Groups, and Meetings
By Dick B., Executive Director
The International Christian Recovery Coalition
© 2012 Anonymous. All rights reserved
During and after our January 2012 meetings in Southern California, my son and I came to two important realizations:
1. A major reason why the original Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship” was so successful in helping “seemingly-hopeless,” “medically-incurable,” “real” alcoholics who thoroughly followed the Akron program was that the fellowship was “living the Book of Acts.” (See especially Acts 1-6; and, in particular, note the focus on the word “daily” throughout Acts.)
[For the seven points of the pre-Big Book Akron program, see the A.A. General Service Conference-approved book, DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, 131. For 14 key practices of Akron’s “Christian fellowship,” see Dick B. and Ken B., The Dick B. Christian Recovery Guide, 3rd ed., 54-57 (available at www.DickB.com).]
2. Both meetings listed in the A.A. Meeting Schedule and Christian Recovery meetings not so listed could benefit greatly by increasing their emphasis on key ideas in A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature which show early A.A.—particularly in Akron and Cleveland—as First Century Christianity in action. Alcoholics Anonymous (the “Big Book”), The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlet (Item #P-53), and DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, for example, contain many such examples.
Along these lines, my son Ken and I have just completed a new book we believe will be very helpful to those overseeing, participating in, or desiring to organize both A.A. Meeting Schedule-listed meetings and non-listed Christian Recovery meetings. The title is: How to Conduct “Old-School” 12-Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature by Dick B. and Ken B. (available at www.DickB.com). This new resource provides details about how to organize or “fine-tune” both kinds of meetings by providing details on:
a. How to structure meetings which emphasize A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature;
b. Possible meeting topics (with many examples provided);
c. Key sections of A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature focusing on the roles played by God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible in early A.A.’s astonishing successes, and why numerous observers stated that early A.A. was like First Century Christianity;
d. The highly-successful, seven-point, early Akron program;
e. 16 practices of the early Akron “Christian fellowship”;
f. Christian efforts that preceded and influenced early A.A. and which were successful in helping alcoholics, addicts, and others with life-controlling problems; e.g., the Young Men’s Christian Association, the Salvation Army, Christian evangelists (such as Dwight L. Moody, Henry Moorhouse, Henry M. Moore, and Allen Folger), rescue missions (such as Calvary Mission in New York, where both Ebby Thacher and Bill W. accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior), and A First Century Christian Fellowship (also known as The Oxford Group, of which Rev. Sam Shoemaker was a chief American leader).
We have also begun producing a number of videos based on the contents of the new book that will soon be available as part of a new class in a password-protected section of the www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com Web site (along with many free Dick B. radio presentations, audio talks, and other videos).
In order to share with International Christian Recovery Coalition “Participants” in other parts of the United States and in other countries, we will be holding a number of meetings in Oahu, Hawaii (March 22-25), Northern California (March 29-31), and Southern California (May 14-21), with the highlight’s being “The First 2012 North American Conference of the International Christian Recovery Coalition” at the new His Place Church facility in Westminster, California, Friday through Saturday, May 18-19, 2012. Conference details are available here: http://www.dickb.com/conferences/May2012_NorthAmericanConference.shtml. Hope to see you there!
In addition to sharing what we have been learning along the lines discussed above during our upcoming meetings in March and May, we plan on focusing a good deal of our efforts on learning about what various Christian Recovery leaders and workers in the areas we will be visiting have been doing. In particular,
What we would like to learn:
· Your thoughts about how to present (with your own program and format)—in your training, meetings, talks, and materials—“old-school,” early A.A. “Christian fellowship” principles and practices.
· Your suggestions about making this subject a plan for a group, a weekly meeting, workshops, training classes, fellowships, 12 Step programs, and talks.
· Your comments on integrating your program into a mold that fits present-day 12 Step programs and ideas, that presents the “old-school” A.A. principles and practices, and captures the importance of daily activities patterned after those of First Century Christians in the Book of Acts and the “old-school” “Christian-fellowship” in Akron.
· Special programs, formats, needs, problems, and questions you may have.
· Your own present activities and desires, and how to integrate them with this subject
· Whether you agree as to the value of a special group which offers or encourages daily fellowship among like-minded believers—including such activities as a weekly training meeting, a weekly Bible study, one or more 12 Step meetings, another’s Christian fellowship meeting, meals and feeds and coffee gatherings, outreach meetings, recreational events, and movies or films.
What we would also like to share with you:
· What other Christian recovery programs, meetings, fellowships, and groups are doing around the world.
· What we suggest about how to organize, format, and conduct an “old-school” A.A. Christian-oriented recovery fellowship and program
· The options, contacts, resources, programs, and outlines presently available.
· How you can, if you wish, conduct “old-school” meetings in such a way as to use a Conference-approved foundation, a procedure consistent with the Traditions, an autonomous status, and advance solid, truthful, accurate, comprehensive knowledge of the origins, history, founding, “old-school” Akron A.A. “Christian fellowship,” its successes, and their applicability to recovery today.