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!"
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!
Here's the Step 1, 2, 3, portion of the Beginner's Classes format:
Session #1 - Steps 1, 2, & 3
My name is __________ and Iâ€™m an alcoholic. Before we
begin, letâ€™s have a moment of â€œquiet timeâ€