Presentation on theme: "Starting a Meeting. A meeting starts as an event from the day of the first meeting. The event is repeated by fairly regular attendance of individuals."— Presentation transcript:
Starting a Meeting
A meeting starts as an event from the day of the first meeting. The event is repeated by fairly regular attendance of individuals who help one another by sharing experiences in support of one another, and relationships begin to form between individuals. The meeting becomes a group through the efforts of the regular attendees.
WHERE If approaching a church for a meeting room, some literature might help. We have an information packet available. The meeting area should be private, free from interruptions or distractions, and comfortable to newer people. Some groups meet at restaurants, private homes, fellowship halls, or outdoors (beaches, parks) weather permitting.
WHEN Try to pick a time that does not conflict with other activities at the site. Also, try not to conflict with local 12 step group meeting times. Some groups meet in the morning, although most meet in the evening. The most important point of when to meet is consistency – the doors must be open on time every time.
WHO Overcomers Outreach support groups welcome ANYONE not opposed to our general method of recovery. Many groups are primarily AA, AL-Anon, ACA, etc., but we must be open to the Lord leading us to help anyone in need of support. The steps can work for anyone, and the Scriptures work for everyone! Church membership is not a requirement to be welcome at Overcomers Outreach meetings
Guidelines For Starting a Support Group Pray! Potential group leaders should be actively working their own 12 Step program, with a minimum of one year of continuous recovery. Order a "Group Starter Kit” Review the contents and meeting format in the Overcomers Outreach "Freed Book" With the approval of your pastoral staff, set the time and meeting place. Put a notice in your bulletin and church newsletter. Pray some more! It takes only two or three DEDICATED people to get the meeting started. Be willing to meet regularly even though attendance may seem small. Make a six month commitment to attend every week. We recommend continuing attendance at other 12-Step groups, like "Alcoholics Anonymous" (for alcoholics), "Al-Anon" (for families and friends of the alcoholic). Meeting directories for these groups may be obtained by referring to the Yellow Pages or local telephone directories and calling the appropriate number in your particular area. Practical help is available from these traditional 12-Step groups, and, as they say, "take what you like and leave the rest." These are great places to let our lights shine! Pray some more! Be OPEN! Share what God is doing in your own life and be ready to LISTEN. Remember it isn't our job to "fix" anyone! Pray that the affected people in your congregation will have the courage to reach out for help, and BE THERE for them! Ask your Pastors to let other Pastors in the neighborhood know about your group. Pray some more!
Materials to Have on Hand Bibles for those who may not have brought one or don’t have their own. Enough FREED booklets to allow others to follow along Song sheets for worship time (if desired) Local meeting schedules of other 12 step and OO groups Information pamphlets, sign off sheets, event flyers, newsletters, misc. literature
Leadership Group Tradition 2:“For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He expresses Himself through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.” The most common “Leader” positions are: Facilitator/ Liaison Group Secretary/ Coordinator Meeting Leader
Facilitator/ Liaison This is the primary contact person for the group, usually listed on the national meeting directory, and normally the “key person” (the person who unlocks the door of the meeting room) The duties of this position are to act as a “go- between” for the group and the meeting facility, and to interface with the public
Group Secretary/ Coordinator This is the person who conducts the group’s day to day business, including: Calling the meeting to order Collection of the 7 th Tradition Maintenance of meeting supplies (Literature, coffee supplies, etc.) Announcements/Reports to the group Calling for business or other special meetings
Meeting Leader This person is usually chosen at the previous meeting or serves for a short time period Primary duties are: Start the meeting on time Select topic/study Conduct the meeting Maintain order at the meeting Allocate time to allow sharing by as many as possible End the meeting on time
Leader Rotation We encourage “rotation of leadership” for several reasons: To afford everyone the opportunity to serve the group and experience the role of leader To avoid “service burnout” by spreading the responsibility among several members To ensure continuation of the group in case of change of “regular” leader’s availability To keep Jesus as first and ultimate authority
Frequency of Rotation Facilitator/ Liaison usually does not rotate, as the facility often wants only one person in charge of the key, and a relationship builds over time Group Secretary/ Coordinator usually serves for 6 months or a 1 year term, at the group’s direction, to allow continuity of group business Meeting Leader may be chosen at the end of each meeting for the following week, or serve for a longer period(a month) as the group wishes
More About Leaders At first, all positions may fall to one or two individuals until the attendance increases and stabilizes. Some groups find it better suited to their situation to have a regular leader with occasional substitutes As groups grow and change, so must concepts of leadership roles, through prayer and discussion by the group. What worked well at first may not work as well at a later time, especially when former leaders move, change jobs, or stop coming for any other reason
Other Service Opportunities Set up – arrange chairs, tables before and after the meeting Coffee/Snacks – have coffee and snacks (cookies, etc.) ready and available for the group Group Treasurer – in charge of 7 th tradition funds and records of expenses with same. Works closely with secretary and rotates every 6 months or year, as decided by the group Greeters – especially at larger meetings Group Representatives – when service meetings are held, such as District or Area meetings
“Types” of Groups Many groups start as “substance abuse” groups, but an Overcomers Outreach group can help family members as well Some groups stay “specialized”, such as codependents, sexual addictions, etc. and find that works best for them Other groups separate into men's and women's groups Larger groups sometimes split into small groups for sharing about their specific issues, like alcohol, gambling, codependents for more confidential sharing, usually after the scripture study portion of the meeting Many members find it better to just stay together
Considerations At first, the group usually starts small, and may grow slowly with “ups and downs” in attendance Attending other 12 step groups is important to meeting growth. Inviting our friends and acquaintances, always respecting the traditions and customs of those groups, can help bring new people to the group. Many don’t stay, but some do, and in time, many return We “attract” others to our group by our walk with Christ and our love for others Whoever comes and whatever is said must stay at the meeting. Anonymity and confidentiality of other members needs to always be maintained Abstinence requirements (“clean time”, etc.) for key service positions, such as Secretary or Treasurer, are suggested
Training There is no substitute for experience, which is why we share experience, strength, and hope with one another and rotate service positions Attendance at and sponsorship from other 12 step groups increases our experience Jesus and the Holy Spirit equip us with words and guidance necessary to help others Discovering God’s Wisdom together by reading His word, coupled with earnest prayer, allows us to support one another in His Love
For more information Visit our website: overcomersoutreach.org Phone toll free - (800) Or write to: Overcomers Outreach Acheson Dr. Whittier, CA 90601
Your support is welcome Overcomers Outreach, Inc. is a non-profit corporation founded to reach out to chemically dependent and compulsive individuals and affected family members of every age. We are funded by tax deductible donations, literature sales and 7 th Tradition donations from member groups. If you would like to give a gift of support, please visit our website, call (800) , or send to: Overcomers Outreach Acheson Dr. Whittier, CA God Bless You.