When I first came into AA my focus was solely on staying sober and trying to stay that way. All I really knew was to go to as many meetings as possible, read my Big Book, pray, get a sponsor, and work the steps.
That was good. I started to grow, I listened at meetings, shared when it was my turn, and started learning about the steps and traditions.
I was encouraged to participate, and to share in service with smaller tasks: setting up the room, chairs, tables, books, snacks, coffee, and clearing/cleaning after the meeting. During those times, I sometimes had someone to share the duty and talk to.
I was encouraged to greet people as they came into the room. “Hi! I’m Pat! It’s good to see you!” With a smile and an out-stretched hand.
After a few months I was encouraged to chair meetings, and participate in business meetings.
Once I had the required length of sobriety, I was encouraged to accept a service position.
Each of these steps have taught me to look outside myself, to think of others, and how to work the principles of the program.
I know there are more ways of doing service. I have grown as I have participated, and want to continue to learn more.
How have you learned and grown through service?