Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
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Postby Jools » Wed May 27, 2009 10:23 am

How does your home group allow for chairing a meeting?

Mine doesn't allow anyone to chair the open meeting unless they have a year sober. The big book study is 6 months sober.


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Postby Worm » Wed May 27, 2009 12:28 pm

Our group requires only 3 months. But we are small town, small group. I chaired our Big Book study and picked up my 3 month chip that night.

The thing I wondered about was how much time before you share your story at a speakers meeting. I thought a year at least until my sponsor told me he thought I was ready at 9 months. I thought he was crazy but then I remembered he had not been wrong so far. I trusted his judgement, something I never did when I was drinking.

I have been asked to speak 3 times to speak and did not want to any of those times. But I did because thats what has been suggested that I do. When asked to do something, do it if you can. The last time I was asked was 30 minutes before our home group's speaker meeting. Thats the best way, no time to think about it. I just gave it to God and remembered what they all told me. I couldn'tt screw it up because it was my story.

I know you didn't ask for all of this but I needed to share it.

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Postby sunlight » Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:38 pm

Thirty days is the norm for my home group and for most of the meetings that I attend.

The point is to get the newcomer involved and be " a part of ".

I remember it was that way for me. After 30 days they hauled me up to the chairperson's seat & said the meeting was all mine. What a heady feeling! 8) I was in control! :shock: It was then that it came to me that I had turned my life and will over to the care of God. HE was the one in control, not I. Pretty profound stuff to be realizing at 30 days. And I was astounded at how the meeting flowed without any apparent effort on my part. I was being guided in a way I'd not experienced before. And I had a great time encouraging others to speak and affirming them like I was an old-timer! I learned what a joy service can be. And how I wanted to give my very best for AA because it had given me the very best thing in my life - sobriety.

Thank you for reminding me of the first time I'd chaired! I needed that! :D

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Postby Tim » Wed Jun 03, 2009 12:34 am

In my home group there is no hard-and-fast rule. We have a calendar for members or regular attendees to sign up ahead of time to chair a meeting.

The person chairing usually has at least a year. There is a lot of sobriety among home group members. Many have over 30 years, and quite a few have 20 or more.

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Postby DiggerinVA » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:10 am

60 days for 4 of the five meetings. The 5th is one year, a speaker type but they call it qualifying, I did it once.

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Postby tim-one » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:08 am

In Houston, there are over 2,500 groups. I visit several for diversity. Love 'em all. None are the same.

Do we do it different here? I dunno. We have a chairperson who reads the protocal, appoints people to read stuff, and introduces a leader who chooses the topic and runs the meeting. Sounds like y'all are talking about only one person up front.

The bigger groups start people chairing when their sponsor thinks they're ready. You can't chair if you've gone out in the last 30 days. Leaders are at least 1 year. Speakers are simply known as more experienced and are usually actively sponsoring. Chair's choice with counsel.

I've noticed it depends if the group tends to draw more newbies than others or are pretty steady with only pro's.

My morning home group is small - between 8 to 15 from day to day - hardly ever a newbie.

With 2 month under my belt, I was asked to LEAD the meeting next day. whoa .... I can read, but choose a topic and respond to sharing?????

As I was taught, if someone asks you to do something, the only answer is yes. The chair who chose me advised me not to overthink it and just follow my heart the next morning. I said, "Absolutely! I'm not going to worry over it. Shoot no!"

So I was up all night pouring over the BB ... :roll:

Don't say no to anything that's asked of you.

Don't panic. Just do it without worry. They won't pick you if you're not ready. And they'll let you know how you did so you know what to work on.

Love y'all,

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Postby Dallas » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:16 pm

Time-One wrote:In Houston, there are over 2,500 groups. I visit several for diversity. Love 'em all. None are the same.

Isn't that just absolutely AWESOME!!! It reminds me of when I lived in Los Angeles. I could easily go to five different meetings a day, 365 days a year, and never attend the same meeting for a couple of years!!! :lol: :lol: (Now... that's a real opportunity to hide-out in AA! Just move to Houston or Los Angeles!!!) :lol:

Houston sounds like a place I'd like to live or to stay for an extended visit! All the trips I've made to Houston have been business. It's time for a pleasure trip to see how many AA Groups I can Fellowship with in a reasonably short amount of time!

Now... for the topic: Have you guys/girls (especially the one's that live in larger cities)... thought about the AA-er's that have no local Groups? Sometimes, they are one... or two AA's in their town. Some have to travel a hundred miles or more to visit another AA meeting.

I was contacted through the Internet (this site) by a guy some place in South Africa... that found an old "Big Book" and he was trying to find out if this "AA thing" was still around!

The book got his attention because he had a serious drinking problem and had discovered through reading the book... that "he was alcoholic"... and he had a desire to be sober!

There were no AA's and no meetings near him... so he didn't have the problem of "how long till I can chair a meeting?" There were no meetings so he would have been clueless to be reading this topic and wondering "What are they talking about?" :lol: :lol:

We started working together online on him taking the Steps... and, he found a buddy that wanted to sober up, also. We got through Step 4, and a little sharing with Step 5. I haven't heard from him in a while and I hope he is sober, sane and doing well... and finally started an AA meeting in his little place somewhere in South Africa! (If you're reading this and it's you... Let me hear from you!!!).


Note: I've also been contacted by numerous Alkies here in the USA... that have no near-by meetings... and they have to travel a hundred miles or more... to attend an AA meeting!

So, three (what I hope will be) helpful hints:

1. If you are an AA-er and considering a geographic... be sure to take your Big Book and a phone list... just in case you land in a place with no AA meetings!

2. If you're one of those -- who have received the "counsel of many" and you think that going to meetings will keep you sober... (Or, that 90 meetings in 90 days... will do the trick) :lol: Be careful about where you live!!!

3. And, if you are one of those... alcoholics... and you want to sober up and stay sober... and you live in an area that it's more than a hundred miles to an AA meeting... Have hope!!! All you need is to get a Big Book, read it, and follow the instructions in the book!!! That's how most of AA got started all around the world (outside of Akron, Cleveland, New York, and PA)!!!

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Postby tim-one » Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:57 am

AW, DOOOOD! Come to Houston and try that, you'll die of COFFEE! (I'm trying to quit ... one meeting a day at a time :? )

Wow, Dallas, what a wonderful opportunity God gave you!

SEE? The internet can be redeemed and put to God use.

All it takes is one with desire and a Big Book to find another with desire.

"Where two or more of you are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them." The BB pretty much says the same thing.

I believe HP WILL grant those people a special grace to do it from scratch.

We also have such a great netWORK that we can help find a willing sober person who has the ability and the desire to visit those places to help intensively start the program in those places.

God bless ya, Dallas. Thanks for your willingness and obedience. Willingness without obedience is dead. You worked it, bro. Nice job.


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Postby Jools » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:30 am

Thanx for y'alls input.

I wonder how they did it back in the day...........

I get involved by making coffee, setting up chairs and breaking down the meeting. I've been sober 7 months now and am able to chair the bb meeting.

I agree with Sun, it's a great way to be a "part of" as are the things I mentioned above. A great way for others to get to know you too.

Were you folks nervous the first time you chaired? I think I would be a wreck cuz I don't fancy being up in front of a crowd.

I remember the first time I spoke years ago, it lasted ten mins. LOL

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Postby tim-one » Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:55 pm

Good for you for getting involved. It's a must to feel a part of the body, like I belong there.

I was told that the only answer to being asked to do ANYTHING is YES. Fine with me, I hate having choices to mull over.

Last week I was asked to help rearrange tables and chairs after a big banquet. I said yes. I forgot that I broke a rib earlier that day. I wasn't very productive, but I helped, dammit! :D

Who, ME? Nervous? BAH HAha ha haaahhhh!
yeah. I was.

But that was the old insecure me comin' out. I don't believe how comfortable with people I've become. I'm a downright expervert now!

When I was asked to lead at 3 months, I was nervous. So I opened:
"I'm Tim, the happy alcoholic.

OOoooo ... I'm nervous! (pause) HEY! That really DOES work!
Did you ever picture everybody naikid?
Now only one of you's makin me nervous ............darlin'."

Actually, if you've been in that group a while, you've probly shared. It's no different. Just a different chair.

It's good practice to find what you're thinkin' in the BB. It's best to get the subject right outa the book.

I hope you get picked on soon! 8)

Love ya, girl,

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