The purpose of all A.A. groups, as stated in our Preamble, is for members to share their experience, strength and hope with each other, that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Most A.A. meetings are considered voting groups when they follow the long form of our Third Tradition.
Why is a meeting not a Group?
Perhaps the most important distinction between groups and meetings is singleness of purpose: to stay sober and help others recover from alcoholism. If the members are all alcoholics, and if they open the door to all alcoholics who seek help, regardless of profession, gender, or other distinction, and meet all other aspects defining an A.A. group, they may call themselves an A.A. group.
A group has a vote in the decision making process of A.A. as a whole.
Although A.A. members attend the meetings of many groups, and feel comfortable in these meetings, the Home Group remains the strongest bond between the individual A.A. member and the Fellowship. With membership comes the right to vote upon issues that might affect the Group and might also affect A.A. as a whole. A process that forms the very cornerstone of A.A.'s service structure. As with all Group conscience matters, each A.A. member has one vote; and this, ideally, is voiced through the Home Group.
Traditionally, rotation of service positions keeps A.A. members from becoming frozen in office. It also ensures that group tasks, like nearly everything else in A.A., are passed around for all to share. Rotation insures that fresh ideas are brought to the task, and helps to bring us spiritual rewards more enduring than fame. And, in the spirit of Tradition Twelve, it ever reminds us "to place principles before personalities". Terms are usually two years for General Service, and one year for Inter-group, but can be any length the Group designates. Before you rotate out of any A.A. office, be sure to help train your replacement.