12 Concepts of Service

Concepts of Service – The Third Legacy

The three legacies of Al-Anon and Alateen are:

1. Recovery through the 12 Steps
2. Unity through the 12 Traditions
3. Service through the 12 Concepts

As tradition two states: “For our group purpose there is but one authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.”

Al-Anon’s service work is guided by our Twelve Concepts. These are the principles and philosophies that guide our trusted servants as they carry out the tasks of their service positions. This ensures that the Al-Anon groups are always the final authority and that our leaders are trusted to carry out their delegated responsibilities in support of the group conscience.

The Twelve Concepts of Service

  1. The ultimate responsibility and authority for Al-Anon world services belongs to the Al-Anon groups.
  2. The Al-Anon Family Groups have delegated complete administrative and operational authority to their Conference and its service arms.
  3. The right of decision makes effective leadership possible.
  4. Participation is the key to harmony.
  5. The rights of appeal and petition protect minorities and insure that they be heard.
  6. The Conference acknowledges the primary administrative responsibility of the Trustees.
  7. The Trustees have legal rights while the rights of the Conference are traditional.
  8. The Board of Trustees delegates full authority for routine management of Al-Anon Headquarters to its executive committees.
  9. Good personal leadership at all service levels is a necessity. In the field of world service the Board of Trustees assumes the primary leadership.
  10. Service responsibility is balanced by carefully defined service authority and double-headed management is avoided.
  11. The World Service Office is composed of selected committees, executives and staff members.
  12. The spiritual foundation for Al-Anon’s world services is contained in the General Warrnaties of the Conference, Article twelve of the Charter.

General Warranties of the Conference

In all proceedings the World Service Conference of Al-Anon shall observe the spirit of the Traditions:

  1. that only sufficient operating funds, including an ample reserve, be its prudent financial principle;
  2. that no Conference member shall be placed in unqualified authority over other members;
  3. that all decisions be reached by discussion, vote, and whenever possible, by unanimity;
  4. that no Conference action ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy;
  5. that though the Conference serves Al-Anon it shall never perform any act of government; and that like the fellowship of Al-Anon Family Groups which it serves, it shall always remain democratic in thought and action.


As Al-Anon members begin to seek recovery, they learn to focus on themselves. However it is in sharing our experience, strength, and hope that helps us begin to truly grow into the kind of person we choose to be. We benefit from practicing gratitude through our actions by contributing to the common good and helping others as we have been helped. In Al-Anon we call this “service”.

Service can take many forms including, but not limited to:

  • setting up chairs, making coffee, chairing a meeting
  • greeting newcomers, calling members in distress
  • serving as a group representative, secretary, treasurer or other position within our group
  • responding to phone calls from new members with questions
  • sponsoring a newcomer
  • supporting groups by participating fully
  • distributing literature
  • participating in public outreach initiatives
  • financially supporting groups and local services
  • volunteering for service positions in your district or area
 Benefits of service:
  • break out of isolation and participate in group experiences
  • learn new skills in a supportive environment
  • develop skills to balance personal life with other responsibilities
  • increase self confidence
  • improve communication skills, both listening and speaking
  • learn to help others in a healthy way
  • meet new people and form new relationships
  • discover new things about yourself
  • have a lot of fun!


Serenity Prayer

“God grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the