Overview of The 12 Concepts
To fulfill our fellowship’s primary purpose, the NA groups have joined together to create a structure which develops, coordinates, and maintains services on behalf of NA as a whole.
The primary responsibility of an NA group is to conduct its recovery meetings, carrying the message directly to the addict who still suffers. Groups join their strength in the service structure, ensuring that other services—H&I, PI, literature development, for example—are fulfilled effectively and without distracting the groups from their own primary purpose.
The final responsibility and authority for NA services rests with the NA groups.
The groups have final responsibility for and authority over the service structure they have created. By fulfilling their responsibility to provide their service structure with the conscience and ideas, people, and money it needs, the groups also exercise their authority. Conversely, the service structure must always look to the groups for support and direction.
The NA groups delegate to the service structure the authority necessary to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to it.
In day-to-day matters, the groups have given our service boards and committees the practical authority necessary to do the jobs assigned them. This is not a blank check issued to the service structure; the groups still bear final authority. To make Concept Three work, we must carefully select trusted servants.
Effective leadership is highly valued in Narcotics Anonymous. Leadership qualities should be carefully considered when selecting trusted servants.
Leadership is very important to the welfare of our fellowship. The essay on this concept describes an array of leadership qualities to be considered when selecting trusted servants.
For each responsibility assigned to the service structure, a single point of decision and accountability should be clearly defined.
In defining a single point of decision for each service assignment, we eliminate confusion about who has authority to do what. We also clarify accountability for our services: whoever is given the authority for a particular task will be held accountable for the fulfillment of that task.
Group conscience is the spiritual means by which we invite a loving God to influence our decisions.
Group conscience is the means by which we bring the spiritual awakening of the Twelve Steps to bear in making service-related decisions. It is fundamental to our fellowship's decision-making process. It is not, however, merely a euphemism for “voting” and is not itself the NA decisionmaking process.
All members of a service body bear substantial responsibility for that body's decisions and should be allowed to fully participate in its decisionmaking processes.
All members of a service body bear substantial responsibility for that body's decisions; therefore, all of them should be allowed to fully participate in its decision-making processes. NA service is a team effort. The full participation of each member of the team is of great value as we seek to express the collective conscience of the whole.
Our service structure depends on the integrity and effectiveness of our communications.
Regular communication is essential to the fulfillment of all these concepts, and to the integrity and effectiveness of our services themselves.
All elements of our service structure have the responsibility to carefully consider all viewpoints in their decision-making processes.
To check judgment, to guard against hasty or misinformed decisions, and to invite the sharing of new ideas, our services must consider all viewpoints when making plans. This is essential to the development of a fair, wise, balanced group conscience.
Any member of a service body can petition that body for the redress of a personal grievance, without fear of reprisal.
The Tenth Concept encourages us to treat each other with respect in the service environment, and provides us with a means of making amends when we wrong others. The essay describes ways in which an individual who feels he or she has been wronged can go about seeking redress of his or her grievance.
NA funds are to be used to further our primary purpose, and must be managed responsibly.
The Eleventh Concept establishes the sole absolute priority for the use of NA funds: to carry the message. The importance of that priority calls for total fiscal accountability. Direct contributions to each level of service help us focus on our primary purpose, and enhance accountability.
In keeping with the spiritual nature of Narcotics Anonymous, our structure should always be one of service, never of government.
Within the context of the Twelve Concepts, as a body, this concept serves much the same function as Tradition Twelve in the context of the traditions. It brings our consideration of concepts for NA service back to the spiritual root of selfless service. “A structure based on that foundation could only be one of service, never of government.”