Alcoholics Anonymous Legacy of Service
by Bill W.W.
Our Twelfth Step—carrying the message—is the basic service that the A.A. Fellowship gives; this is our principal aim and the main reason for our existence. Therefore, A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of alcoholics in action. We must carry the message, else we ourselves can wither and those who haven’t been given the truth may die.
Hence, an A.A. service is anything whatever that helps us to reach a fellow sufferer — ranging all the way from the Twelfth Step itself to a ten-cent phone call and a cup of coffee, and to A.A.’s General
Service Office for national and international action.
The sum total of all these services is our Third Legacy of Service.
Services include meeting places, hospital cooperation, and intergroup offices; they mean pamphlets, books, and good publicity of almost every description. They call for committees, delegates, trustees, and conferences. And, not to be forgotten, they need voluntary money contributions from within the Fellowship.
These services, whether performed by individuals, groups, areas, or A.A. as a whole, are utterly vital to our existence and growth. Nor can we make A.A. more simple by abolishing such services. We would
only be asking for complication and confusion.
Concerning any given service, we therefore pose but one question: “Is this service really needed?” If it is, then maintain it we must, or fail in our mission to those who need and seek A.A.
The most vital, yet least understood, group of services that A.A. has are those that enable us to function as a whole, namely: the General Service Office, A.A. World Services, Inc., AA Grapevine, Inc., and our board of trustees, known legally as the General Service Board
of Alcoholics Anonymous. Our worldwide unity and much of our growth since early times are directly traceable to this cluster of life-giving activities.
Until 1950, these overall services were the sole function of a few oldtime A.A.’s, several nonalcoholic friends, Doctor Bob, and me. For all the years of A.A.’s infancy, we oldtimers had been the self-appointed trustees for Alcoholics Anonymous.
At this time, we realized that A.A. had grown up, that our Fellowship was ready and able to take these responsibilities from us. There was also another urgent reason for change. Since we oldtimers couldn’t
live on forever, newer trustees would be virtually unknown to the A.A. groups, now spread over the whole earth. Without direct linkage to A.A., future trustees couldn’t possibly function alone.
This meant that we had to form a conference representing our membership which could meet yearly with our board of trustees in New York, and thus assume direct responsibility for the guardianship
of A.A. tradition and the direction of our principal service affairs. Otherwise, a virtually unknown board of trustees and our too little understood service headquarters operations would someday be bound to face collapse.
Suppose that future trustees, acting quite on their own, were to make a serious blunder. Suppose that with no linkage to A.A., they tried to act for us in time of great trouble or crisis. With no direct guidance from A.A. as a whole, how could they do this? Collapse
of our top services would then be inevitable. And if, under such conditions, our world services did fall apart, how could they ever be reconstructed?
These, briefly, were the conclusions that led to the formation of the General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous. Later, I will outline in more detail the events that have now become A.A. history.
Types of voluntary Service positions
– Meeting secretary,
– meeting Treasurer,
– Meeting greeters,
– Group Conscience secretary
– Area Secretary,
– Area treasurer,
– Area Public Information (PI) committee,
– Area phone convener,
– Area phone responder,
– Area website committee,
– Area insurance convener,
– Online Area meeting facilitator,
– Area School talks convener,
– School talks panel member,
– Intergroup representative,
-Intergroup phone convener,
-Intergroup phone responder,
-Intergroup School talks convener, Trustee,