Interested in joining a Step Group? Start one!
Many people in ACA choose to join a Step Group to go through the yellow book and the ACA 12 Steps.
What is the yellow book?
-The yellow book is the ACA Step Book. The readings come from the ACA Red Book, and then questions follow each reading pertaining to the appropriate step. The questions are gleaned from the reading to invite members to seek a deeper understanding of the ACA 12 Steps.
ACA is a fellowship of equals – there are no leaders. This means if you are desiring to join a Step Group, it is as easy as bringing it up in a meeting to start one.
While there is no set format for a Step Group or how to start one, here are some suggested guidelines.
-Bring it up in a meeting during announcements that you are interested in starting a Step Group. Pass a sheet around to gather names of others who are interested or ask people to approach you at the end of the meeting.
-Contact interested people and find a time and place that works best for the group. Many people rent out a room at the Alano Club for inexpensive rates. Others meet in a private room in a community building, or a church. There are no rules – just whatever works best for the group.
Now you’re ready to start meeting. What next? How do we run a Step Group?
-First, a Step Group is a group of equals. We have no leaders, only trusted servants. So, your group’s conscience is what decides how you find the best format for your meeting. That being said, here are some things you may want to decide amongst your group members:
-How to format the meeting (i.e. include the typical opening of an ACA meeting using all meeting materials, just begin with the Serenity Prayer, end with the Promises, start with a “check-in” before sharing on Steps, etc.)
-The order in which members share (around the circle or popcorn style)
-Choice whether or not to time shares
-How to move through the book (read out loud, number of questions to work on per share/meeting)
-When to close the meeting (i.e. after the completion of a certain point in the book or a number of weeks). While regular ACA meetings are open to everyone at any time, Step Groups often close after a certain amount of time. The big stuff we are all working on can come up more intensely within the safe space of a Step Group. So, closing the meeting can help facilitate that sense of safety and cohesion amongst the group.
Looking for extra help or guidance?
-The ACA Red Book features guidelines for meetings, sample meeting formats, etc. These can be altered and adjusted to meet the needs of your Step Group. Refer to the index for specifics.
-Ask someone (or several people) how they’ve had success in the past in Step Groups. There are many ways to do it, and lots of great resources within meetings of people who can share their experience and perspective about what has worked for them.
-Trust yourself and honor the process that works for you. Some join a Step Group, and find that the group isn’t quite the right fit. Or maybe you find you’re not fully ready to delve into one of the Steps, or need to go at a different pace – faster or slower than how the group is going. It is YOUR recovery and you get to have it how it works for you.