How to Start a New Meeting

First of all – congratulations for wanting to carry the NA message to the addict who still suffers. It is great that you have the willingness and commitment to start a new meeting.

Depending on where you live, we want you to know that your local Area Service Committee (Northern, Central and Southern) is there to support you. You can make contact through our phone line 0800 NA TODAY or send an email to the Aotearoa New Zealand regional web committee: web@nzna.org

Things to think about before opening the doors

We suggest you consider a few important things before you take the next step.

We have found that it is best to start a meeting because it will first of all benefit your own recovery. The recoveries of fellow addicts come second.

You can write to Fellowship Services Office and order a group starter pack (PO Box 6826, Wellesley St, Auckland), or email fso@nzna.org. It is free to all new groups and has a basic literature package.

FSO will send out an order form. This has all the pamphlets/books/key rings/medallions that your meeting may want to have available for members.

Keeping your meeting going

It is important to find a venue that promotes an atmosphere of recovery, can be rented long term and allows for meeting growth.

Such things as central location, public transport, wheelchair access, parking and affordable rent are also important.

We suggest that you find another member willing to commit their support for six months whilst the meeting gets underway.

Another good idea is reading The Group information pamphlet. “A Guide to Local Service” (GLS) can also be an invaluable source of information for groups. PDF format from the NA World Services website. It has heaps of information on meeting formats, roles for trusted servants, information about the service structure etc. In short, it will tell you everything you need to know about running NA groups, and providing a positive atmosphere of recovery.

Your group can decide what format to have at your meeting. It might be to discuss a piece of literature, focus on a topic, share on “experience strength and hope”, or talk about the 12 Steps or 12 Traditions. With a new meeting, it is often helpful to read from the literature, and then discuss it.

The financial side

Collecting, banking and keeping track of the Seventh Tradition money is really important when you are getting started. We suggest you open a bank account for your group, with at least two signatories. Your Area can assist with this process, and some groups have written about what they did on this page: Opening Bank Accounts

A Treasurer’s Handbook makes it really simple to keep track of your group accounts. PDF format from the NA World Services website.

Connecting to other groups and the wider fellowship

Inform your NA Area that you are starting a meeting and ask to have your meeting listed on the meetings list and website. Shortly after this happens, your group will be registered with World Services.

Find out when the next Area Service Committee (ASC) meeting is so a group member can attend and get support.

The ASC meetings are held approximately every eight weeks. They are a great way to get support and get a sense of the wider NA Fellowship.

To find out how to get your meeting better known in your area, contact your local NA Public Relations committee for support. You can get hold of them through the ASC, or through the regional web commmittee: web@nzna.org

It is incredible to think that NA is a worldwide fellowship, represented in some 139 countries. To learn more about what is happening on a global level, you can subscribe to the NA WAY magazine at www.na.org.

Lastly be prepared to be the only members at the meeting for a while, be patient and have faith.