September 1, 2010

Listening to Our Membership

"There are those who would misteach us that to stick in a rut is consistency--and a virtue; and that to climb out of a rut is inconsistency-- and a vice." Mark Twain

The reading Today deals with ruts that can arise in our fellowships. I almost decided not to share on its message, because I abhor ruts! But, as uncomfortable as that topic may be, I can surely apply it to my own work in being part of (and having founded) a face-to-face group of my own.

Just as was shared by an Al-anon member in this reading, we too have a very small home group. We have new members come, but often they rotate out before the six week "trial" period is over. We have former members return for a time then lapse for months before they come again. This mostly brings to mind questions:

Do our meetings, where our members are often slow to apply the Steps, just not make it clear HOW the Steps and tools do work?

Right now, not a one of us has the confidence to take on Sponsorship. I have the longest time in program but I have said "yes" to too many people who just did not make an effort to make the program a priority. What am I going to do differently next time that fosters my Sponsees and helps them realize the they will grow faster if the come to meetings and share their recovery with others?

It would be neat to see our membership grow. I like imagining the experience of this reading coming true for us: that we had "so many newcomers that we set up a series of beginners meetings as an extension of our group."

Could we also be small, because we have "gotten into a rut without realizing it? What, exactly, is our particular rut? And how do we get out of it?

In our group, we really try to make it a meeting where folks share experience, strength and hope (ESH). But if we continue not to have enough use of program tools and steps by our membership, maybe our ESH is too limited to nourish us in our round table discussions.

What if we were to take a a group conscience and make more of an effort to use our literature? Or what if we have speakers visit once a month? Would our members like that, or would they feel like their individual time to talk would be too delimited?

Lastly a question I can ask myself: Am I in a negative rut, that has me not trusting to Let go and Let God as our group enlarges?

Today's Reminder reads,

"Each group, like each individual, goes through changes. But we don't have to face those changes alone. The Second Tradition reminds us that a loving God expresses himself through our group conscience. When each of us is willing to grow, we all benefit."

"....[Guidance] for the group comes not through individuals, but from the willingness of the group to follow whatever wisdom may be expressed through the membership." Al-anon Faces Alcoholism

1 comment:

  1. I too have had sponsees who weren't willing to move forward. It's the willingness and the surrendering that is needed. I don't think that progress on the steps can happen until those occur.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~