This subject was discussed at length at the business meeting (7 members attended), and it was decided to hold off on a decision until we have more feedback from our members and the zoom meetings are at least a year old.
Currently we should be grateful for anybody who wants to start a meeting. Service is hard to come by these days. Our requirement for hosting a zoom meeting is the willingness to show up. If you are new to LAA, please study the literature and follow the meeting format very carefully.
Service kept me sober in 1982 even though I lied about how much time I had to meet the requirements. As far as I know, I didn't hurt anybody by doing this. Instead I started a couple new meetings that still exist today.
Being new should not disqualify someone. One of our members is new and she has helped me more than anyone in the whole history of LAA. If you have a good heart and you're willing, that's all we need.
Regarding how long you host a meeting . . . I know most groups believe in rotating leadership but sometimes being the host keeps somebody on the straight and narrow and so they need to do it as long as they want to.
Knowledge of how Zoom works, or a willingness to be trained.
You have attended at least 5 zoom meetings.
You are reliable and if you can't show up you will find a replacement for yourself.
An open, willing, compassionate heart, and patience.
Last Edit: Mar 29, 2021 11:17:47 GMT -8 by Susannah
Hi, I am new to LAA but have a decade in recovery. I personally agree with Susan. At my online OA meetings they said “If you can read, you can lead!” That gave me the confidence to sign up for service and chair, and caused me to take my recovery more seriously. Suiting up & showing up often, and as they said in OA - service is slimming haha. That didn’t mean that my name was given as an available sponsor at that point in the meeting. That took a lot longer for my spirit to be ready to offer.
As a new LAA member I would be happy to help chair. I am also interested in starting a face to face meeting in my city. I am currently working with Susan P. & am reading the literature. I tried to go to an online Zoom in S. Africa but it just said “trying to connect” so I am waiting for the next one that’s in the schedule. Since there are so few, I’d love to make one more available to people.
I think of Bill W. going through the phonebook trying to find someone to help & I can see how even newcomers can be of service. Thanks for letting me share my contribution to the group conscience:)
Last Edit: Jan 7, 2021 23:09:02 GMT -8 by jennieva
Recently there was a well-attended zoom meeting that was at risk of folding because no-one had stepped up to chair on a regular basis. One member, not an old-timer but with some time in LAA and working the steps, thought she might be able to volunteer in a month's time, but present circumstances prevented her from taking it on immediately. We held an on the spot group conscience and decided to ask for volunteers to chair the next four meetings until then, when we could hopefully vote in a regular chair.
We have so far had three meetings on that basis, all with relative newcomers chairing, some with prior experience in other 12 step programmes. They have been some of the best meetings I've attended, handled with careful adherence to the suggested format and literature and a degree of humility that was really touching. If we had been bound by hard and fast rules, the around 18-20 people who attended, including on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, would have missed out on hearing and sharing experience, strength and hope.
I agree that there should be some discretion employed in supporting a person to chair (don't ask me to define what form that should take, but if someone has been attending meetings, the regulars get an idea of who that person is). In view of this experience, I'm in favour of flexibility in this, at least until the fellowship is strong enough to support sufficient meetings chaired by people with long-term recovery.
Since I first posted on this thread I have come to certain conclusions. It seems there are some conditions that need to be met to host a meeting, but they have nothing to do with time in the program. We need people who are even-tempered, fair and responsible. We need people who do not act alone when making decisions, but take all their concerns to either their local business meeting or the LAA business meeting on the first Saturday of the month, at 9:00 a.m. PST (west coast). We need people who understand the Traditions, especially Tradition Twelve, that warns us not to "let personalities get in the way of the programs" Finally, we need people who know the difference between controlling and facilitating. There is a thin line between the two.
We are not trying to scare people off. We need HELP. Being a host can be a learning experience. It was for me back in the day I started my first AA meeting at San Quentin.