Doing Service in Alcoholics Anonymous
Growing into Service (from the pamphlet ‘Growing into Service’)
Alcoholics Anonymous is more than a set of principles; it is a Fellowship of alcoholics in action. Service is at the centre of every AA concept and activity. It is as fundamental to AA as abstinence is to sobriety. Without this giving of oneself to another, there would be no Fellowship. This desire to serve improves recovery.
As newcomers, we see people giving time, energy and love in the service of the Fellowship, and it is suggested that we too should become involved. Those of us who have done this will tell you of the enormous benefits we have received by willingly stepping into service.
A great paradox of AA is that rewards come when we begin to forget ourselves.
What are these rewards?
Simple service tasks have helped to develop confidence, a belief in one’s own value and opinions, self-respect and self-worth. We have all found that participating in service activities has helped our recovery.
Everyone in AA has some contribution to make. There are so many ways of practising our Twelfth Step. Some are talented in hospital or prison work, others can write to loners or answer telephones and some have abilities which lie in committee activities or sponsorship.
But service is not just for a small number of experienced people. Each one of us has been
surprised at the abilities which have emerged with a willingness to grow in service.
How do we become involved?
AA’s Twelfth Step “Carrying the Message” is the basic service that our Fellowship gives; it is our principal aim, and the main reason for our existence. We must carry AA’s message otherwise we ourselves may fall into decay and those who have not been given the truth may die.
Carrying AA’s message is therefore the heart of our Third Legacy of Service. Any action which helps AA to function as a whole is service.
Service can be carried out in many ways: At group, intergroup, regional levels and beyond. Please speak to your sponsor or someone with more experience in AA, to find out what service positions are suitable for your stage of recovery.
Click to find out more about service within the intergroups in London: