Al-Anon, the 12-Step program for partners and significant others of alcoholics, conducts group business meetings on a routine basis, often monthly. Decisions are based on group conscience, a concept valued by the 12-step movement and guided by vigorous discussion among meeting participants. Typically led by the group chairman, the Al-Anon business meetings may be led by another officer in the chairman’s absence.
Verify that the group secretary or designated volunteer is on hand to record the minutes. Assign a meeting attendee to read the steps or the traditions from the Al-Anon Handbook.
Call the meeting to order and lead the group participants through a recitation of the Serenity Prayer. Call on the designated member for the step or tradition reading.
Call on the group secretary for a reading of the last meeting’s minutes, followed by a request for approval or amendments.
Request a report from each service representative, including those in charge of literature availability, interaction with the district and regional Al-Anon organization and any outreach projects. Questions and discussion among the business meeting attendees may follow each report.
Call on the treasurer to report on funds, expenditures and the bank balance. Verify that a prudent reserve, as the emergency fund is often known, is in place. Ask attendees for any questions, and, after discussion, request a consensus to approve the report.
Ask for discussion of any old business or open items that were noted at the beginning of the meeting in the secretary’s report. Call for a group conscience vote to accept, reject or defer each item of old business.
Open the meeting to discussion of any new business. Allow ample time for attendees to present suggestions for gatherings, such as picnics or anniversary celebrations, and challenges, such as funding or time and location changes. Ask for a vote by show of hand on each item. In some cases, the chairman may request participants to do further research on a topic and report back at the next business meeting.
Close the meeting with a prayer or recitation that is traditional for the group