The Importance of Step Work

What exactly is Step Work?  And why is it important?

As best I can determine, Step Work is comprised of three main components:

  1. Reading and studying each of the 12 Steps.
  2. Actually doing the things mentioned in the Action Steps located at the end of each reading.
  3. Studying and answering the Study and Understanding questions found at the end of each step.
So let me address them one at a time.

1. Read and Study Each Step

I already read one step each week in my ARP meetings but Step Work should be more than that. Each of us is on a different step. I need to study and make sure I understand and agree with that step I'm currently on before I move on to the next one.  To do that I should spend time on my step during the week -- both reading from that step and looking up the references. I should also pray about my step to receive a better understanding as to how I can apply it in my recovery.

I've heard it said, "If you don't know what step you are on -- You are on Step 1!"

2. Do the Action Steps

I also read the Action Steps each week im my ARP meetings, but they are called "Action Steps" for a reason.  If I don't do the action I am missing out on the "homework" for that step.  I need to actually do the action if I wish to receive the blessings found in that step.  And that action has to be done outside of the weekly meeting.

Here is one of my favorite scriptures on that subject: "There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."  D&C 130:20-21

3. Answer the Study and Understanding Questions

The Study and Understanding questions are found at the end of each step for a reason.  They are not just filler.  I am actually expected to study out each question and try to answer it as best I can.  Once again, if I skip this part, I am cheating myself.  I am not learning what I need to learn.  I am trying to take a shortcut in my recovery.

Because I type better than I write, I created an MS Word version of the Study and Understanding questions. If you'd like a copy of that document for yourself, you can download it here.

So What Is The Best Approach for Me?

So what should be the best approach for me to do my Step Work,  There seems to be only one good answer, and that would be to do at least some Step Work each day. That could be just one of the items listed above or parts of any of the three. But for me to recover, I really need to do some Step Work each day!  And that would be in addition to my daily reading from the Book of Mormon and my prayers.


RMWW said...

Great thoughts. I've been curious about the approach that others take to step work AFTER completing the steps the first time through. I can think of few approaches someone might consider:

1. Simply start over with Step 1, and repeat all steps again in order.

2. Focus on "the maintenance steps", repeating steps 10, 11, and 12.

3. Focus on whatever step your 12-step group is covering for the week.

4. Focus on whatever steps your sponsees are working on.

5. Focus on steps at random, based on prayerful consideration and what you feel that you need at the time.

6. No need for more step work after you finish the steps once... you are cured! Just kidding... I don't believe this. I think a new life in recovery still needs daily nurturing, although some people might shift their focus to other recovery materials (besides ARP manual) in addition to daily prayer, daily surrender/repentance, and daily scripture study.

Comments? Other approaches?

Lewis said...

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I have been using approach #2 for a while but lately I have felt the nudge to go back and rework all the steps. Then in a recent meeting 3 different people mentioned that very thing in one way or another. Enough said. I got the point! I have started again with step 1.