MIP Home Page

A.A. Group Home Page
A.A. Meeting/Chat Room
Site Technical Problems or Questions?
Step Work Board - A Step each week!
Online Meeting Schedules
Music to Enjoy while here!

**By clicking the "Donate" graphic above you will be taken to where you can make a donation amount of your choice to ensure this site stays fully self supporting through its members contributions. Any amount you donate will be appreciated and valued. Thank you!

Alcoholics Anonymous Group
Message Board

Online Meetings
Tuesday and Saturday Nites at 9Pm Eastern Time!
Saturday Morning 11AM est

Twelve Steps

Twelve Traditons

Alcoholics Anonymous
Big Book

Living Sober
Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: by-laws


Status: Offline
Posts: 4

Does a group need a written copy of the group by-laws?  My group has some rules and regulations that I would like to see in writing but to no avail.  I was wondering about other groups.  I know about the Intergroup by-laws, but they are so very generic.

Gloria Jean Reynolds

Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 40

Each group is autonomous, except when it affects AA, as a whole. Most groups 'try' to adhere to the 12 Traditions (these are not necessarily "rules and regulations" but suggestions on how each AA group should try to adhere to a set of guidelines so that AA's singleness of purpose is being met.) I'm not real clear on exactly what you are asking, so maybe someone else can offer you some feedback.


MIP Old Timer

Status: Online
Posts: 3264

Thanks alkyone for the topic...

My home group doesn't have a set of "bylaws" in writing. They do have a group conscience which other people should adhere too. There is only one "singleness of purpose" that I know of and it is "to carry the message of AA to the still suffering alcoholic and to practice the principles in all its affairs". Anything else would up to the group's discretion and not necessarily AA as a whole. If you don't agree with what is said in one particular group then you can search for another home group instead.

-- Edited by Mr_David on Thursday 16th of June 2011 12:32:51 AM


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 268

In a lot of US cities, Intergroups might have bylaws because they are not-for-profit corporations, not AA meetings. They handle the phones, websites, publish meeting schedules and local newsletters, etc. Donations from the groups and/or fundraisers pay for those services.  Because they are doing the services for AA, they may have representatives from the groups they serve.

Usually the bylaws have to do with how the rent is paid, who signs the checks, how long people are on the board, how intergroup is run, etc.

AA on the other hand, is meetings, General Service Representatives meeting at the district, regional and area levels.  At the top of that is the General Service Organization (now known as AA World Services) AA as a whole, Publishing, the Grapevine are at this level.

Each group is atonomous unless it effects AA as a whole.  In other words, if it doesn't effect the rest of AA, a group can do whatever it darn well pleases.  Big Book? OK. Other lit? OK.  Clown costumes every other Thursday, just cause you all want to? No problem.  Stupid rules because I am petty and want to annoy you?


Its not usually the sign of a really heathy group, but you get the idea.

There is an old joke in AA about a group that made some rules. They liked their rules, so they made some more. Some people weren't quite as "sober" as others, and didn't dress as well, or get jobs, so they made rules about that.  When they went to publish their rules they took them in, and instead of the sixty-one fine rules that they had made up the list now had another:

62. Don't take yourself so seriously

The traditional AA response to annoyance and/or resentment of a group is to find one other person to agree with you, a coffee pot, and a new location.  An thus does AA spread.  Remeber to register with intergroup so they can list you in the directory

-- Edited by Rainspa on Thursday 16th of June 2011 06:36:02 PM


Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 178


For some groups it would depend on the location.

Like a Church--No Smoking on the Grounds Period.

Someone's own home as in Traveling/Roaming Groups.

Schools, Main Clubhouses, Beaches.

Each has their own set of Certain Rules that must be Kept at all times no matter what the Group wants to do--Parking, Clean-up, Hours of Operation, Temperture Settings.

It really makes a difference.

Karen D.  in MI

MIP Old Timer

Status: Offline
Posts: 755

My small home group had no written guides for anything, so many practices---some kinda contrary to our wonderfully simple AA suggestions---were of the "that's the way so & so (who is long gone, of course) said we had to do it. " variety. Now we keep notes of any group decisions made-and voted on-at the business meetings, so there is at least a written guide to go by, until the group elects to change it. It is making a difference of the "quality improvement" kind, and attendance at the meeting, which had been floundering, is now increasing. I think the consistency, and the fact that there is a demonstrated group conscience in action, is an attraction.

Willingness is the key.
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.