12 Concepts: A New Approach
My home group’s conscience has decided that once a year, we will host a half-day workshop on both the 12 Traditions and the 12 Concepts for World Service so our members have an opportunity to take a deep dive into them. This past weekend, we hosted our annual 12 Concepts for World Service workshop and brought in one of our Past Delegates, Keith D., from Area 65 (Northeast Texas) to share his experience on them.
I’ve sat in many studies and workshops on the 12 Concepts but this time, I walked away with a whole new approach to studying them. Keith had mentioned that just last month, he had been asked to do a 5-week series on them at another local group and for that series, he sat down and took a hard look at them and decided to take a different approach than he had in the past. He even mentioned that my home group reaped the benefits from the experience at that other group (and he was right).
Instead of doing a linear approach to them (in numerical order) like I have always seen it done, he really analyzed them and realized there were some overriding & recurring themes in them that would allow him to group them together in four (4) sections. It was a brilliant approach because in doing it that way, he was able to make the Concepts more personal to each of us.
I’m not going to provide his whole approach here, but I did want to share the outline to how he presented them to our group. It was absolutely brilliant and we had members of our group walking away from that workshop saying things like, “I’ve never understood the 12 Concepts or believed they had any meaning to me personally, but after this workshop – now I do.” My thanks to Keith for his ongoing dedication to A.A. as a whole and to helping its members be more informed on all three legacies of our Fellowship.
SECTION ONE: Faith Described as Structure
Concept 1 – Final Responsibility and the Ultimate Authority
Concept 2 – Active Maintenance, Active Voice, and Effective Conscience
Concept 6 – Groups delegate to the GSC (Concept 1), Conference delegates to the GSB
Concept 8 – The Trustee’s role should be one of planning and oversight – not of implementation.
SECTION TWO: Guiding Principles
Concept 3 – Right of Decision
Concept 4 – Right of Participation
Concept 5 – Right of Appeal
Concept 9 – Leadership, ever a vital need!
SECTION THREE: Checks & Balances
Concept 7 – Traditional power of the Conference vs legal power of the General Service Board – GSC sponsors the GSB!
Concept 10 – Authority equal to responsibility
Concept 11 – Choosing our trusted servants with care and paying our service workers well
SECTION FOUR: Our Warranty Coverage
Concept 12 – 6 Warranties
And if you want another resource to better understand the 12 Concepts for World Service, Alcoholics Anonymous in Great Britain created an AMAZING and easy to understand video approved by their General Service Conference in April 2021 that they posted on YouTube. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN6t4jAXJd0