How to Start a Meeting?
If you are thinking of starting an SASA meeting here are some tips that can help you begin:
WHAT SITE CAN WE CHOOSE THAT IS ACCESSIBLE?
It usually takes some time finding a site to hold the meetings. Many meetings are actually held in churches. Look for:
easy access from public transportation
ideally doesn’t require a key to get in (there are inevitable issues with this)
it feels safe enough for attendees
is 12 Step friendly
it’s free or low cost
WHEN DO WE OPEN TO NEW MEMBERS?
It can be very helpful to run 4 or so meetings just with us “founders” to work out the kinks, etc. During that time we spent the 2nd half of the metering making changes to the format, etc. It’s important that the format fit the personality of the committed founders. And once other people start attending decision making gets much more difficult.
HOW MANY MEETINGS CAN THE FOUNDERS COMMIT TO ATTENDING?
During the first 3 months it is critical to have as many founders as possible there every meeting, ready to start on time. This helps newcomers feel safe and the meeting has a consistent feel to it.
It is said that the most successful meetings started with 3 other people. This enabled each major role to be filled for the first 6 months easily and it made it much more likely that someone would be present on time for each meeting.
You can spend up to a month or so “recruiting” committed SASA members who want a local co-ed group to be started.
WHAT WILL WE NAME OUR MEETING?
Each meeting has its own name that tells people a bit about it. Morning meetings can be Sunrise Meeting or other examples are Keep Coming Back or Hilltoppers or Winners Circle etc
WHAT CHANGES DO WE WANT TO MAKE TO THE FORMAT?
More focus on steps, less focus on steps, etc. Big Book meeting?
WHO WILL BE THE GROUP REP?
This person represents the group with the local Intergroup, if there is one. Attends meetings, can vote for the group, etc. This person is also the contact for her area.
DO WE WANT TO BE LISTED ON THE SASA WORLDWIDE WEBSITE, OR WHEN DO WE?
The more outreach the more likely the meeting will grow, and the more likely to have people show up you wish didn’t.
AT SOME POINT YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER OTHER OUTREACH:
How do we spread the word to other SASA groups?
How do we appropriately spread the word to people in other 12 Step groups?
Do we reach out to local therapists and tell them about us?
The 1st two approaches seem to bring in more new members than everything else I’ve seen combined.