Approaching the New Comer
One way to do it…
The meeting has ended and you have identified a new comer that you want to talk to because they identified themselves at the beginning of the meeting.
‘Hello, my name is _________, glad to meet you _________.
What did you think of the meeting? Wait for answer…
How did you find out about us? Wait for answer…
Do you think you are an Alcoholic?
1) No… OK well if you ever do become one and you want some help, I can help
you and give them your Phone number for later…
2) “I don’t know”… Go to Pg 44, B/B; have you ever gone out drinking and said
to yourself, I’m going to only drink (X) amount of drinks and you went way
past that number? Have you done that more than once? You’re half way
3) Have you ever woke up in the morning after one of those times and said to
Yourself, I’m never going to do that again and did it again? Bingo you
qualify to be a Real Alcoholic.
If at anytime they say No… Politely thank them and move to another new
If they identify themselves as Alcoholic, ask them if they would like to do something
about it? Would they like to be Recovered Alcoholics instead of a Practicing One?
If they answer NO… Politely thank them and move on to another new
If they answer YES, go to the ‘First page’ of your Big Book and read:
“You must agree to do everything this book tells us to do? You must engage in the process exactly as it is outlined in this book.” If they answer YES, then ask the question:
If the book says that you have to run down ‘Interstate Highway 5’ (or any major road
in your area) at 4:30 pm in the afternoon for one hour you will do that correct?
If they say NO, tell them that they are not ready, but when they are to please call
You and you can help them.
If they say YES, then you tell them great, it doesn’t say that but if it did you’d go
running. Tell them you need to ask them some more questions and
it will take about 30 minutes. Do they have enough time to do that? If they don’t
be sure to get their Ph. Nr. and it is your responsibility to call them to set up a
time to go over the next part.
At this time you will take them through the twelve steps verbally, giving examples and simple explanations for each step. You don’t want anyone saying: “You didn’t say that.” Or “We never talked about that.”
1) We have now established that you are an Alcoholic so let me ask you this: we know that you are powerless over Alcohol, because you drink more than you wanted to and you did stuff that you said you wouldn’t do. Isn’t that correct? A Yes is required!
2) Do you have a religious background? Do you believe in or practice some Faith? Yes move on to step three. If they answer No, ask them if they would believe that you believe in a Higher Power (God) greater than themselves? Yes move on to step three.
3) Would they be willing to ask this Higher Power (God) to help them make decisions essential to running their lives as outlined in the Big Book, so they could be recovered from this disease? A Yes is required!
4) Now every business that is successful has to take an inventory. They have to look at their liabilities and assets. Would you be willing to look at your liabilities, in the Big Book we call them short comings and defects of character. Would you be willing to identify these liabilities? A Yes is required!
5) Now in business the owners usually go over this list with their accountant, lawyer or business consultant. Would you be willing to do that with me, a Priest, Minister, Rabbi, counselor, Psychologist, Psychiatrist or even a stranger? Now I would hope that you would do this with me so I could give you feedback on what you have done and coach you if you have left anything out. A Yes is required!
6) Now that you have identified these liabilities would you be willing to have this Higher Power (God) to remove these shortcomings and defects of character, one and all? A Yes is required!
7) Would you ask the God to remove these liabilities? A Yes is required!
8) Now you have made a list of shortcomings, so would you be willing to transfer the people from that list to a new list and along side of them would you specifically identify the amends you feel need to be made? A Yes is required!
9) Now this is difficult to say at this time, but when you have gotten to this point would you be willing to go and make direct amends to those individuals on the new list you have made addressing the amends you have listed and asking them what they need to have the street clean? Remember that you and your Sponsor have gone over this list together before you meet these individuals. A Yes is required!
You have now cleaned up the wreckage of your past. You need not return there again unless you are sharing it with a newcomer. The next steps help you keep today clean…
10) Would you be willing to clean up the messes that you make today and ask for help in not making anymore? Another words; Follow Gods Will in your life. A Yes is required!
11) Would you be willing to ask for help in increasing your Spiritual awareness through prayer and meditation and ask God to guide you throughout the day? A Yes is required!
12) And this is the most important part. Would you be willing to pass this on to someone else when you have finished? A Yes is required!
If at anytime they say NO, you stop and tell them that you CAN NOT work with them. You can only work with someone who is willing to do the whole thing with No reservations. If at anytime later they wish to change their mind you or one of the people you are working with now will be willing to help them.
Please, this is a guide, put it in your own words, but cover all the bases… You only want to work with those who are willing to work!!!
Now for Re-treads…Slippers and such. On their first day back ask them if they really want to get Sober and if so are they willing to do what is necessary to do that? Tell them that they are to erase their minds of everything that they thought they knew from previous times, and begin anew. I use the example of the white chalk boards that can be erased with a cloth easily.
If they agree to that then take them from the top of the page through step 12… after they have agreed to all…. Take both the newcomer and slipper through the Big Book… highlighting, underlining and annotating… upon completion of the Big Book launch them into their Fourth (4th) Step… it should take no longer than ten (10) days to finish the steps.
When in a meeting they can only say their “Name, I have a Sponsor and I am working the steps” until they have reach the Ninth (9th) Step and are well into the amends part.
In addition, if a newcomer comes to the meeting, they are to introduce themselves and begin to go through the questions with this new individual and bringing them up to where they are in the process. If this is done right they will be ahead of their newcomer and will be carrying the message as they are learning the message themselves.
Before and after the meetings they are welcome to share anything with anyone about where they are in the process and their past. Just NO Sharing during the Meetings until they have something to share about How to be Recovered.
The Specifics of What the Pioneers Did in Akron
First, they would locate a “real” alcoholic who needed help, want help, and would do whatever was expected of him: (Note the sober alcoholic went searching for someone to work with.). In the case of each of the first three AA’s —Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob Smith, and Bill Dotson— someone had actually gone searching for each of those three men as “pigeons/babies/sponsees” needing help. Later, wives and relatives would sometimes bring a new man to Dr. Bob for help. Sometimes drunks appeared on the scene and asked for help. But searching out and “qualifying” the new person as one who was serious and willing to go to any length to get well. And that very outreach itself contributed mightily both to the newcomer’s possible success and to the continued sobriety of his messenger-helper. All learned in those experiences that you can’t make a drunk quit unless he wants to; but you can provide him with a personal testimony of success that has clout and compelling attraction.