Almost everyone has heard of the 12 steps. A little lesser known are the 12 traditions. These were designed to preserve the integrity of the meetings and the purpose that they uphold. While the 12 steps focus merely on the content the 12 traditions focus on the structure. I recently read them and asked this question: What would it look like if the church applied the 12 traditions to their model?
Here are a few examples. I replaced CHURCH for A.A. (alcoholics anonymous).
- Our common welfare should come first; personal growth depends upon CHURCH unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- A CHURCH ought never endorse, finance or lend the CHURCH name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- CHURCH should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- CHURCH, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Even after writing this, a part of me cringes at the first reactions of myself and possible others. “Remain nonprofessional”! “Never be organized?” That sounds like chaos. EDIT: The most fascinating thing to me about these principles is that A.A. does not think that any of these structures are evil. The biggest danger is that they are distracting (from their mission.) In fact it would seem that distractions are far more dangerous than overt conflict based upon the protections they have put in place.
I have asked myself these two questions:
- What is the purpose for each of these traditions within A.A.?
- EDIT: If A.A. Considers these things distractions, how is that the Church is not distracted? Or is it?
Would these things destroy the church, explode the church? What do you think?
Filed under 12 Steps, Church
“You can’t save your a** while you’re trying to save your face.”
Today I went to a 12 step meeting and made an interesting observation. There were about 15 people in the room and 2 or 3 of the guys are old enough to be my grandparents. That’s not the interesting part, but what is, is that I think most of the people, including myself, look up to those men. It is assumed that they have more experience, wisdom, and more value in how they think and act than the rest of us.
Hmmmm… big deal.
I think what makes this so interesting is that I don’t think this about all old people. In fact in most church settings Continue reading
Filed under 12 Steps, Church
Two strange things that happened to me in the last 24 hours…
1. I went snowshoeing on Mt Rainier with with my shirt off…..in January…and was quite warm. But that’s not the weird thing. The weird thing was that some guy called my name out and I looked over and he said his name was Paul. “Paul?” “Yeah Paul, from Costa Rica.” In 1994 I went on a mission trip with my church and we visited the Robinsons in Costa Rica. Fifteen years later I run into this guy on the mountain. I wouldn’t have recognized him at all. When I asked him how he recognized me he said that his brother was showing him pictures of me on Rainier 3 weeks earlier that he had pulled off of Facebook. Weird.
2. I went to a sexaholics meeting on Monday at noon. Usually I go to one that meets Sunday at 7am but I wanted to check one out with a different format. Anyways, they meet at a church in Bellevue and when we got there the building they normally meet at was locked. So, after a little bit of discussion about alternative locations and realizing there were none they decided to meet…..in the parking lot. Weird.
It got me thinking. There’s been a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a while that revolves around what I have learned from programs that involve and include society’s rejects. In many ways it seems like they have this whole church/Jesus thing figured out more than I ever had growing up attending and working in churches. Continue reading
Try for one minute to imagine the absolute worst person with the worst sin you can imagine. What might they look like.
I imagine that this person would be a pervert. They would probably molest children. Continue reading
UPDATE 11/23/08: EXCERPT ADDED BELOW
Tonight I had a very strange experience which caused me to put 2+2 together.
Through a conversation that my wife, Kami, and I were having I observed a
cycle occur in myself that I have seen many times. The whole thing took about 30
minutes. This is how it went. Continue reading
A couple of people have suggested that I go to a counselor, recently, and I figured I would post my reasons as to why I am currently choosing to go to a “support group” instead. I’m not sure what “support group” even means but for the sake of this discussion I am referring to a group of people who meet that have a similar “problem.” When I refer to “counselor” I am referring to any session with a qualified professional with a one on one methodology. Here is my assessment of what a week in each would look like.
- One one-on-one session each week.
- Do your “homework” and be prepared for your next session to make it the most productive.
About 2 months ago I posted about my first experience attending a Sexaholics Anonymous meeting. Since then I have gone through quite a process that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal until I sit down and look back at that first meeting and how long ago it seems. Right now my thoughts are so scrambled and disorganized but I am going to pound out some bullet points of things that I have experienced, thoughts that I have had, and even some emotional reactions that have been present.
- To date I have been to 6 meetings. After the first two, I started going to Whole Foods afterward for coffee and conversation. This has quickly become one of the highlights of my week.
- Since my first time I have invited 3 friends. 2 have come. 1 is coming regularly.
- I have met with someone who has told me that they are willing to sponsor me twice. We are going to continue to meet on Wednesdays at 10am. Asking someone to “sponsor” you (especially when you don’t even know what that means) is really, really hard. Continue reading