Being of service to others and the program is crucial to a program of recovery. Services helps to diminish our selfishness and self-centeredness. It also helps us gain in humility. When we come into the program the only person, we are of service to is ourselves. This helps to keep the cycle of drinking and using going on and on.
After a short time in the program our sponsor may suggest that we get a service commitment. In the beginning it can be something simple as being the greeter for a meeting. The greeter welcomes new and old members to the meeting. Often the greeter gets to know a lot of people what with greeting them on a weekly basis to the meeting. This is helpful in building an AA foundation. We make new friends and feel as if we are a part of the meeting.
Other chores we may be able to handle in the beginning include wiping down the tables, collecting trash and disposing of it, washing coffee cups and cleaning up the coffee area. It’s an incredible sight to see the head of a corporation wiping down tables! This is where increasing our humility comes in.
We never dreamed we would wipe down a table in public. But here we find ourselves completing this task on a weekly basis. This type of task must e done in order to provide a clean and organized place to hold a meeting. These tasks may seem like small things but when all are put together by several people, they are actually crucial to the meeting place.
As time goes by and one stays sober and grows in the program, more complex ways of being of service may present themselves to the person. One may be responsible for being the secretary of the meeting. This person generally opens up the meeting place and gets things going for the meeting. They are responsible to pick a leader for the meeting as well as readers for the literature that is to be read. The secretary is responsible for the collecting of the 7th tradition which is then turned over to the treasurer. The treasurer reports the amount of money collected at the meeting and the final balance in the treasury. The money is then turned over to the secretary for safe keeping. The secretary also generally pays the rent out of the seventh tradition for the meeting space.
There are a lot more ways to be of service to AA. Some people give rides to meetings to those who don’t have transportation. The literature person purchases from the central office AA literature to be made available at the meeting for newcomers or anyone who can use it. Being in charge of making the coffee is another important position in the meeting.
Being of service does not stop at the door of AA. We carry this attitude with us into our daily lives. We may end up volunteering at a community organization or in our workplace. There is no end in sight to the types of volunteer opportunities we may be approached with. And this is all good for our program in promoting our sobriety.