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Grand Master's Listening Tour

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windrider View Drop Down
Quarryman
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Joined: May/02/2011
Location: NChelmsford, MA
Status: Offline
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    Posted: February/25/2015 at 12:45pm
I attended a meeting with the Grand Master last night that was part of the "Grand Master's Listening Tour". This is the third year we have had these meetings where the Grand Master and many of the other leaders from Grand Lodge visit a few locations around the Jurisdiction, make a presentation and answer any and all questions from the Brothers present. 

The main topic we were discussing was membership decline. The membership in Massachusetts continues to decline. We went from over 33,000 members to just over 31,000 in the past year. There are, of course, many reasons for this. Our Grand Lodge is aggressively addressing the problem through advertising and marketing. 

The presiding Master of my Lodge gave me a copy of Carl Claudy's "The Master's Book". This was written in the 1930s but is just as relevant today. Claudy speaks about membership decline and retention. He tells us exactly how to increase attendance and make each brother proud to let his friends know they would make good Masons. It simply takes putting the tenants of our profession into action and leading the lodge by giving the brethren what they crave: Masonry. 

I have visited many lodges in the course of my business travels. I always learn something wherever I travel. Sometimes it's what I could do better. Other times it's what I never want to do. As my time in the East approaches,  I hope my plans work as well as Claudy predicts. 

What do you do to bring good men in and keep them coming? 

Master, Webmaster, Lodge Ambassador
Ancient York Lodge AF&AM

Lowell, MA

God never sends us anything we can't handle. Sometimes I wish He didn't trust me so much. - Mother Teresa
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WBScott View Drop Down
Quarryman
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Joined: October/18/2014
Location: Wright City, MO
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WBScott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/25/2015 at 10:31pm
Originally posted by windrider windrider wrote:

What do you do to bring good men in and keep them coming? 

We try to be an organization they can be proud of. 

As far as bringing in good men, it is crucial to let the community know what your lodge does to make that community a better place in which to live. 

For example, we recently donated $3600 to a local shelter for battered women. They needed upgrades to their building as well as long overdue maintenance. Of course this was publicized in our Grand Lodge publications, but we also made sure to send out a press release to the local newspaper. No, we don't do charitable work for the recognition, but why not let the community know what we are all about?

Our lodge is in a small town (about 3400 souls). Our lodge is on the "main drag" and people drive by our building every day, but unless they know what actually goes on inside, why would they want to join? When people see articles like this in the newspaper, this takes some of the "mystery" out of Freemasonry. When they see enough of these articles, that might be just what it takes to get them curious enough to make an inquiry about joining because they want to be part of an organization like ours that has such a positive impact on the community... their community.

Once someone is Raised, we don't ask them what they would like to do for the lodge. We tell them about our various committees (Charities, Golf Tournament, Membership, Building & Grounds, Ritual, etc.) and ask which one they want to serve on. 

The bottom line is that we can't expect these newly minted Master Masons to keep showing up just to attend regular stated communications or business meetings. If we don't get them to play an active role in their lodge, they won't keep coming back. 
Wentzville (MO) Lodge #46 - PM
Pride of the West (MO) Lodge #179 - PM (twice)
Pauldingville (MO) Lodge #11 - Secretary
Warrenton (MO) Lodge #609 - Secretary
DDGM - 25th Masonic District
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