“A.A.’s Twelfth Step, carrying the message, is the basic service that our fellowship gives; it is our principle aim and the main reason for our existence. A.A. is more than a set of principles; it is a society of recovered alcoholics in action. We must carry A.A.’s message; otherwise we ourselves may fall into decay and those who have not yet been given the truth may die. This is why we so often say that action is the magic word. Action to carry A.A.’s message is therefore the heart of our Third Legacy of Service.
“Yet some of us are still a bit confused about A.A.’s Third Legacy. We still ask, “Just what is this Third Legacy business anyhow? And just how much territory does ‘service action’ take in?”
“The answer is simple. An A.A. service is anything whatever that legitimately helps us to reach fellow sufferers. As we have seen, the Twelfth Step call is the greatest of A.A.’s services. But the publicity that caused the prospect to get in touch with us, the car we rode in, the gasoline we paid for, and the cups of coffee we bought him=all of these aids were necessary to make our call possible and effective. And this is only the start. Our services involve meeting places, hospital co-operation, Intergroup offices, and pamphlets and books. Services can require committees, delegates, trustees, and conferences. They include small voluntary money contributions so that the group, the area, and A.A. as a whole can function. They range all the way from the cup of coffee up to A.A.’s General Service Headquarters for national and international action. The sum of all these services is A.A.’s Third Legacy. Such services are utterly necessary to A.A.’s existence and growth.”
-Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age, Bill Wilson, Pg. 139-140