Stick with the Winners
How to Conduct More Effective 12-Step Recovery Meetings Using Conference-Approved Literature: A Dick B. Guide for Christian Leaders and Workers in the Recovery Arena
Since July, 2009, when the International Christian Recovery Coalition was founded by Christian Recovery Leaders, Workers, Newcomers, and concerned members of the public, there has been a steady drum-beat of questions: “How do we do this?” “How can we conduct 12-Step meetings in such a way as to honor A.A.’s existing Traditions, Steps, and techniques?” “What do we do when someone says, No?” How can we hold and list and organize an A.A. meeting which conducts studies of A.A. History, the Christian origins of A.A., the early or ‘old school’ program of Akron A.A., and the foundational tools of present-day Twelve Step Fellowships?” “Is there a way that our 12-Step group can persuade the hordes of newcomers that it is important for them to know and try to apply today the First Century Christian Fellowship principles and practices that are described of the Apostles in the Book of Acts and were used by the early AA Christian Fellowship in Akron?”
The answers are very simple. First, fully acquaint yourself with what A.A. General Services Conference-approved Literature actually endorses and tells about old school A.A. Second, learn, quote, and use the informative statements about early A.A. that are already in print and available today from Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. and The AA Grapevine, both in New York. These can be obtained from and/or ordered for you by any local Central or Intergroup Office—and even such outlets as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble book stores and links. Third, start your group in conformity with A.A. Traditions: Gather a group of AA friends. Hold a Steering Committee or Organizing Committee meeting. Ask for the guidance of the loving God as He may express Himself in an informed group conscience. Select the date and place and time for your meeting. Elect a secretary. Adopt a format, with an opening prayer, a preamble, a call for newcomers, a list of both conference-approved and other literature that will be displayed and used (probably on separate tables). Decide on a method or methods for content in the meetings: Reading from literature and calling for discussion. Having a Speaker talk on a particular phase of the subjects and calling for discussion. Inviting well-informed speakers to address a topic. Study the Big Book. Study the Steps. Study the original Bible basics—Jesus Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Book of James—using guides such as the Dick B. James Club book. Use films and teaching videos already available on A.A. History and the Christian Recovery Movement. Record in writing and have the Secretary sign and keep on hand at meetings the minutes of the informed group conscience.
Here’s what this guide will enable you to consult, follow, and even read in your meetings: (1) Introduction “Old School” Christian Recovery; (2) Resources you should use for “Old School” 12-Step Recovery Meetings—from Conference-approved and other resources. (3) Actual relevant quotes from Alcoholics Anonymous, The Co-Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers. (4) The real (7-Points) Akron A.A. Program. (5) 16 Key Practices of the Real Akron A.A. Program. (6) “Old School” A.A. and First Century Christianity-(a) What the Rockefeller people noted; “First Century Christianity in the Book of Acts;” A.A.’s Christian Predecessors—The Vermont on Dr. Bob and Bill W.’s youth; Christian recovery before A.A. (YMCA, Great Evangelists, Rescue Missions, Salvation Army, Christian Endeavor; Oxford Group). (b) Dr. Bob and Bill W.’s Christian upbringings. (c) The Conversion Factor in Bill W.’s Life. (d) The “cures” AAs uniformly claimed.
(7) “Old School Elements That Can Be Used Today: (a) The Newcomer. (b) Giving their lives to God. (c) Eliminating Sinful Conduct and Obeying God’s Will. (d) “Grow along Spiritual Lines.” (e) Carry the Message. (e) Religious and social comradeship. (f) Be quick to see where religious people are right; and make use of what they offer. (8) How to Conduct “Old School” Recovery Meetings: (a) How to start the group. (b) Initial decisions—including literature selection. (9) General Guides to Establishing Study Meetings. (10) Meeting Topics. (11) Conclusion.
If you are like so many members of the clergy, Christian recovery pastors, Christian recovery fellowship leaders, existing A.A. fellowship participants, and others, you probably have thought you couldn’t do all this today. Well, you can. This guide tells you exactly how. Details are all in one place. The approach is simple and compelling. And already a number of groups in the United States and other countries are organizing and conduct such groups and using this guide.