The Twelve Concepts of OA Service
In Overeaters Anonymous, the Twelve Steps serve as the spiritual principles that support our personal recovery from compulsive overeating. The Twelve Traditions aid us, individually and collectively, in maintaining unity of purpose within the Fellowship. The Twelve Concepts of OA Service, adopted by the World Service Business Conference (WSBC) in 1994, help us apply the Steps and Traditions in our service work, which is an important part of the OA program. The Concepts define and guide the practices of the service structures that conduct the business of OA.
These Concepts depict the chain of delegated responsibility we use to provide service throughout the world. Although they focus on OA world services, the Concepts direct all OA's trusted servants to well-considered actions for group participation, decision making, voting and the expression of minority opinions. The Twelve Concepts support our primary purpose of carrying OA's message of recovery to the still-suffering compulsive overeater.
The OA groups have delegated to World Service Business Conference the active maintenance of our world services; thus, World Service Business Conference is the voice, authority and effective conscience of OA as a whole.
The Board of Trustees has legal rights and responsibilities accorded to them by OA Bylaws, Subpart A; the rights and responsibilities of the World Service Business Conference are accorded to it by Tradition and by OA Bylaws, Subpart B.
- No OA committee or service body shall ever become the seat of perilous wealth or power;
- Sufficient operating funds, plus an ample reserve, shall be OA’s prudent financial principle;
- No OA member shall ever be placed in a position of unqualified authority;
- All important decisions shall be reached by discussion, vote and, whenever possible, by substantial unanimity;
- No service action shall ever be personally punitive or an incitement to public controversy; and
- No OA service committee or service board shall ever perform any acts of government, and each shall always remain democratic in thought and action.
Spiritual Principles in the Twelve Concepts
A spiritual principle is associated with each of the Twelve Concepts.
Concept One: Unity
Concept Two: Conscience
Concept Three: Trust
Concept Four: Equality
Concept Five: Consideration
Concept Six: Responsibility
Concept Seven: Balance
Concept Eight: Delegation
Concept Nine: Ability
Concept Ten: Clarity
Concept Eleven: Humility
For more information about the Twelve Concepts, read the pamphlet The Twelve Concepts of OA Service, available from our online catalog.