- The AA Beginner's Class Meetings and Format

The AA Beginner's Class Meetings and Format




Topics related to AA Meetings - and alcohol addiction recovery

The AA Beginner's Class Meetings and Format

Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:48 am

I believe that one of the greatest problems that our Fellowship faces is a lack of strong sponsorship -- provided by sponsors that know the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and have taken the 12 Steps precisely as they are presented in the Big Book.

As a result of weak sponsorship -- the Fellowship has strayed away from the "AA Program of Recovery -- That works" (The 12 Steps) -- (as described in the Big Book) and has turned to alternative methods of trying to achieve and maintain sobriety by "just not drinking" and "going to meetings."

While attending meetings appears to be vital to long-term sobriety, and I highly recommend them -- just going to meetings and not drinking -- will not produce a long-time sobriety -- in which the alcoholic actually get's better!

We hear those wonderful chants of "Meeting Makers Make It!" (that makes some of us want to puke when we hear it) -- and we'll often follow up their chant (sometimes under our breath) with something like, "Yep. Meeting makers often make it -- to their next meeting -- However, THE STEP TAKERS RECOVER! -- and start meetings!" :lol:

I'm often asked if I have a format for Beginner's Classes -- type meetings. Yes. I do....

However, one of the best formats that I have seen, and I have listened to CD's of the Beginner's Class Meetings (Available through AA Speaker Tape and CD providers) is a format that was provided by Mike L. for the West Orange, New Jersey A.A. "Beginner's Classes".

This is a great bunch of AA's out in West Orange, New Jersey, that are providing a much needed solution to this problem within the Fellowship, and it's the West Orange, New Jersey A.A. "Beginner's Classes".

Their results in helping AA's to recover by taking the newcomers through the 12 Steps, during their "Beginner's Classes" meetings has been so great -- that I want to help pass it on here, at Step12.com. There are many AA Groups that are adapting the West Orange, New Jersey, "Beginner's Classes", all throughout the country, and in many other countries as well.

The entire "Beginner's Classes" Format is 84 pages long... and that would take a heck of a lot of typing for me to post it all here -- especially in one setting! So, I'm only posting the format for Steps 1, 2, 3, which is what is covered in the first week of the Beginner's Class meetings.

And, I've included below, the info to help you contact the author of the format, Mike L., so that you can contact him for the rest of of the format if you are interested in starting a group or incorporating the format in your existing group -- for Beginner's Class Meetings.

To get in touch with the author and obtain the entire format, the contact information is provided below, at the bottom of this page.

And... if you are in or nearby West Orange, New Jersey, you may want to look up this great group of AA's and attend some meetings with them in person!

Dallas B.


Here's the Step 1, 2, 3, portion of the Beginner's Classes format:

-------------------------------------------------------------------




Session #1 - Steps 1, 2, & 3

My name is __________ and I’m an alcoholic. Before we
begin, let’s have a moment of “quiet timeâ€
Last edited by Dallas on Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DiggerinVA » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:52 am

I feel AA really needs this. Wally P does a good one too. I saw it last Saturday and it was excellent. Very similar too. His is based on the classes from the 1940's. I would be very interested to see their 11th step.

The sponsorship is a real problem in AA. I went through three people trying to find one. My sponsor and I have had some very interesting discussions on the steps. One problem I see, is the number of sponsors who let their sponsee's be meeting makers and not step takers.
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Postby DiggerinVA » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:14 pm

The phone number is disconnected and the email was returned undeliverable.
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Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:38 pm

I'll post a pdf file so that you can download the rest of it. Perhaps someone out there will get an updated phone number and email address. Until then, I'll post what I have and you can download it.

If the talks are not available on CD from some AA speaker tape provider, I'll upload a copy of the ones I've got and send you a link.

Dallas
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Postby DiggerinVA » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:24 am

Thank You
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Thanks

Postby Mitchell25418 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:51 am

Moring All - My name is John & I'm an alcoholic. I have visited this site quite often but never posted. I'm in the program almost 3 months and doing pretty well. Going to as many meetings as I can (didn't make 90 in 90). I have a home group & sponser. I completed step one and am working on step 2. Some days I feel like I'm doing well can see a path in fornt of me. Other days I feel like I'm not doing this program "correctly" & fear not recovering. This forum is helpful so that I can stay on track!
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Postby Dallas » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:03 am

Hello John, thanks for participating. I appreciate you.

I understand. It was that same way for me, too, in the beginning. And, if you hang in there and continue to do the work -- those feelings will pass.

I was talking on the phone with a friend the other say and we talked about the hardest thing we ever did in our lives: and, it was the same thing. Staying sober that first year in AA. Nothing comes near as tough, I don't believe. I don't think I could survive with having to do it again.

The other thing we talked about was how it was so different now. And, that with each year sober, we were still having problems, but nothing like the severity of problems in staying sober as a newcomer.

Then, we talked about how life just keeps getting better and better and better and better. And, t will be that way for you, as well.

Take a look at the last paragraph on page 164, Big Book. That, I believe is one of the keys to turning it all around!

Best wishes,

Dallas B.
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Postby Mitchell25418 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:40 am

Thanks Dallas - Having wise folks (like everyone here) pointing me in the right direction is the greatest tool. I never would have made it this far without AA. Thank You!
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