From the AA Pamphlet – The Twelve Concepts for World Service: How Bill W. explained the spiritual principles that undergird A.A.’s structure and how the parts work together.
“As A.A. grew up, it began with the groups — first only a few, then hundreds and then thousands. Very early an Alcoholic Foundation, later renamed The General Service Board, was formed to be responsible for our affairs. And with Dr. Bob’s death and Bill’s facing up to his own mortality, a General Service Conference assumed the leadership which had fallen to the co-founders. Meanwhile, a tiny publishing operation and service office had grown in size and importance to the Fellowship, and a monthly journal, the AA Grapevine, was being published.
“Which of these entities was supposed to do what? Little wonder there was confusion! What was their relationship? Who was in charge? What were their responsibilities — and what were their rights? Bill W. himself was sometimes part of the pulling and hauling that took place, and so he saw the need to “reduce to writing” his concepts of the “why” of the whole structure, the lessons to be drawn from experience, the relationships and, above all, the spiritual principles.
“As Bill set them down, the Twelve Concepts are a potpourri: Concepts III through V, IX and XII deal with spiritual principles; the remainder, though they have spiritual overtones, are devoted to describing the relationship of the various service entities and how they work together.”