For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as known in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
Locally, we have service or leadership positions such as secretaries or chairs, treasurers, group contact couples, or delegate couples. Nationally and internationally we may see people serving on the Board of Trustees of the World Service Organization, or on its committees.
Those are individuals and couples who are willing to devote time, work and dedication to the RCA Fellowship. These RCA members serve and direct our fellowship by following our group conscience. The positions do not give authority beyond the consent of the fellowship. Ultimate RCA authority is from the bottom up, not the top down.
Rotation of officers gives equal opportunity for service, and restricts dominance by any individual or couple. This rotation emphasizes group conscience rather the control by any individual. Following this Tradition emphasizes equality among all members, teaching us that equality is the cornerstone of our coupleships.
Even when there is difficulty in finding someone to take a leadership position, it is important not to allow an individual or couple to continue doing the work indefinitely simply because they are willing to do so. People who remain in leadership positions too long can begin to feel they’re indispensable, or conversely, feel put upon or used. Therefore, we search for and encourage couples and members to volunteer for positions. Service helps a couple experience growth in their coupleship.
The Second Tradition reminds us not to assume authority over a sponsee couple. Our purpose is not to give advice or impose a decision. Sponsor couples agree to share their own experience, strength and hope. They are fair witnesses helping sponsee couples see their own processes as well as providing a safe space to work on their issues and options.
Longtime RCA couples may be helpful in starting new groups. Their role should be to guide the development and structure of the meetings, but then encourage other couples to assume the leadership roles as they gain program knowledge and experience.
The group conscience is what governs the group, and we arrive at this conscience, by open discussion. We set limits on holding office. We share the workload. This Tradition protects and safeguards all of us and our group. When this tradition is followed a state of humility exists because the source of authority is our Higher Power.