AA, Church & the Mission of God (4-It’s about Life)
Having been a little lengthy (confession is good for the soul) in previous posts about the gospel of the kingdom & the 12 steps, I’m going to change modes. For the forseeable future, I’ll try to go with bite size pieces or observations, somewhat at random and one post at a time, about how or why I think the 12 steps work well in my specific context (which may be similar to yours) as a kind of ‘community rule’ for a group of like-minded apprentices of Jesus. The themes will be how the steps are a faithful response to the gospel of the kingdom and how, more broadly, AA can help the church in its own current task in an increasingly post-christendom, consumeristic, secular culture. As always, questions or comments concerning any of these are welcome, including the “T, you’re crazy and a heretic” variety. I’ll likely also mention some weaknesses of the steps as well (and I really want to hear what others see in that regard) and how we may modify or supplement our ‘Rule’ to deal with those weaknesses. With that, on to the first observation:
- The 12 steps are about how to proceed with life in a God-centered, serving-others way instead of a self-centered way.
As with Jesus’ twin invitations of discipleship and joining with his government, the 12 steps are about changing the way someone proceeds with life. They are directional. They are formational. They are relational. They are incarnational. They are a way of life. They don’t even mention the after-life. Of course, that is par for the course for a community rule, historically speaking. If you come to believe that the gospel of God is seeking more of A Long Obedience in the Same Direction than a transaction (more focus on the marriage and life together than the wedding, so to speak) then the 12 steps are speaking your language.