shrinking homegroups & when to call it a day

Is the concept of a Home Group dying? What is a Home Group anyway? Talk about it here.

Re: shrinking homegroups & when to call it a day

Postby dennis » Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:43 am

dennis alcoholic.

I did this once - it is *so* dull sitting in a room by yourself, or with 2 other folks trying to have an AA meeting.

I live in a rural area, and what we did was go on a 12 step rampage. We invested in a case of big books, several pamphlets, 4 Grapevine subscriptions, and a box of self stick labels.

We printed off the labels, and put the groups address, a phone number, and meeting place and times on them. Each pamphlet we stuck labels on the back. Same with the Grapevines.

We left pamphlets in the doctors offices and the hospital emergency room. We dropped the Grapevines off, rotating them around between the doctors office, the social services office and the hospital.

There was a little treatment center/halfway house about 15 miles down the road. The district treatment committee pretty well ignored it, because it had a religious affiliation. We approached the manager, and explained about AA's tradition of non affiliation, and offered to carry a meeting in twice a week *if* we could maintain AA's traditions and spiritual freedom.

When we had a newcomer show up, we gave them a big book. After a bit, we changed the meeting format for several of our open discussion meetings to closed text and step studies.

It was a very rewarding experience!:-) We didn't have much time after a bit to worry about politics or any of that - we had to many newcomers that needed bringing up "right"! :)

Just my experience and observation on a limited geographic area (the southeast USA) there are hardly any females working in the treatment or facility committees. There is a crying need for help in that area. For a long time here, no women went to treatment centers, and there just weren't many females coming from the centers to AA meetings.

Around my little area here, we figure there is nothing that can go wrong in a group that a little tradition 5 work won't fix! :)

This on line thing is a perfect place to work on my 12 step "pitch" when I see it getting a bit rusty. Thousands and thousands of folks a month visit these forums. I'm sure that many of them have no AA experience.

Thanks!

dennis
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Re: shrinking homegroups & when to call it a day

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:51 pm

I find that meeting attendances ebb and flow with the time of year. For example, at this time of year attendances are up. But if you're sustaining an attendance of just 3-5 people, that indicates a problem. Maybe the format needs a change... if people start talking positively about the group, others' curiosity will bring them in.

At such times it helps me to rememeber that I'm not God, and therefore I'm just responsible for turning up - quantity of meeting attendance is really none of my business ;)
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Re: shrinking homegroups & when to call it a day

Postby desypete » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:55 am

hi steve

people will vote with there feet if the meeting is a good one or not
the way you describe how the meeting is sadly would mean its not a meeting i would be willing to go to if there is a choice as i do not like people in aa who try to tell me what being sober is all about or trying to dictate to me what i must do and meetings that try to batter people with books or steps end up doing just that in my eyes

i prefere meetings were peoples own personal experience strength and hopes are given out rather than a well rehearsed speech that can be heard just by looking up new tube aa memebers as there so alike almost word for word
anyway thats just me but in my area there is only one such meeting that sounds a lot like your meeting they have there own aa crowd with attendances of about 10 or so, they dont like meetings i would like and i dont like there meeting but its ok as each group can run meetings exactly how the members feel it should be, not what any single member tries to turn it into there crusade to put aa right the way it should be lol

one other point i would make is i got involved many years ago with a new group in a rough area there were times only 3 people would show up and i was getting really frustrated as we was not even covering the rent which was really cheap, i can remember moaning to myself whats the point ? no one seems to want to come to the meeting its a total waste of my time blah blah, then a girl shown up to the meeting and she shared he first words out of her mouth was, thank god this meeting is here today as she was so worked up and hurt that she felt the need to drink and instead came to the meeting

well i soon shut up with my moaning i got the answer right there and then as to way that meeting should keep on going i dont believe in god by the way but i do believe in the power of aa and that at times in our lives we will each need to run to a meeting for help like she did

today the group is 5 years old and get a good attendance now with sometimes over 40 people, its a simple format, a memeber is asked to do the main share in the meeting and have his or her choice of a reading from the book or anything else from aa litriture that means something to them or not they dont have to have a reading and can go right into there share that will last about 20 mins or so, the meeting will then be opened up for people to share.

but even if that meeting still only had a few people going it would still be worth it as it might just be there one day for just 1 alcoholic who needs it
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Re: shrinking homegroups & when to call it a day

Postby positrac » Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:21 pm

Southeast is not always the excuse of lack of turnouts from my experience from attending meetings through the world.

Is there in say a 50 mile radius a meeting that does a speaker share meeting? Maybe and this is just a stray idea of trying to get your name on that list and speak and at the end promote your group and what is has to offer.

I think time and events do wear and we have a lot of younger people in treatment and how could they honestly relate to my story when I am not 19 years old? Take meetings to that facility and express the need and or through actions you are in the community.

Women in the rooms and having the right amount of women to provide proper service to newly sober women can be a hard call. Maybe and this is not positive but it could be time to fold and go to where the majority is. No one likes to admit and or fall into failure and I am not suggesting that. But being self supporting makes it hard to maintain literature, rent, and any other AA related stuff including coffee.

Did you start that group as I didn't see that in your post? ages of people who attend regularly? I think sometimes stepping back could yield many answers you might not see fully. Stepping back doesn't mean leave totally, it means stepping back. Maybe attending some other meetings in local town and or other community could provide suggestions in the format outside of the normal meeting format.

I've lived on an island and at times we had one or two people and other times we'd have 10 or more. I think it is a lot of things and we can't please everyone and age might be a factor that might not be overcome.
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