3 ways to keep your Masonic Lodge from closing its doors
There is no easy Answer to turn around a Blue Lodge that is struggling to maintain enough brothers to keep it’s doors open. This article is going to attempt to answer some of the popular ways to turnaround your Blue Lodge or a Blue Lodge in your Masonic District. Please note, this information is a very broad answer to the challenge and it’s always wise to speak with your District Deputy and/or your Grand Lodge to ensure you can take advantage of these ideas without breaking your Grand Lodge’s Masonic Law.
Is your Blue Lodge getting close to closing its doors forever? This is a tough situation for any brother to have to face. You know your local Blue Lodge is struggling, but you feel powerless to do anything about it. You need to start with a grassroots movement among the brothers in the lodge to turn it around. Don’t worry, you may be wondering where do I even start? The Freemasonry Report has a few ways to get your Blue Lodge moving in the right direction, but it will take the dedication of yourself and your brothers to put these ideas in action. Please understand just reading this article is not enough and if you feel like you accomplished something from reading this article – it is simply not going to help you. So take action immediately after reading this article.
So here are the ways the Freemasonry Report promised you at the beginning of this blog article. Follow these steps and you will be able to improve your Masonic Blue Lodge.
First Way to Keep Your Masonic Lodge’s Doors Open.
Let’s go back to the basics. Be sure you understand your Blue Lodge’s vision as a fraternity. Unfortunately, you will find that there are a lot of brothers who complain that the fraternity is falling apart and that it needs to be better. However, a lot of times these lodge brethren don’t have ideas on how they would help change the day to day operations to make it better. Brothers who complain a lot and don’t offer solutions are part of the problem unfortunately and their minds and/or hearts need to be changed. So how do you change the hearts and minds of these brothers? It is important to read your lodge’s charter or warrant to determine what goals directly align with the charter. It is recommended to read the charter or warrant at a meeting for every brother to hear it. Further, it might be wise to send a letter to every brother in the lodge re-engaging them to remember the purpose of the Blue Lodge.
Remember, if you want to be part of the solution, be sure you understand what needs to be changed. Really look at what your lodge is doing and what it is not doing. Make a list and share it with the brothers at a lodge meeting. Begin having the conversation(s), to re-align the lodge with its core purpose and possibly it may take redefining your local lodge’s vision to better align with the new direction (or possibly the original direction set by the Grand Lodge in the charter or warrant).
Please understand, this is not an overnight solution because it requires intense humbleness, critical thinking, possibly a lot of listening, and a high level of communication. The humble brother that takes this first step can really make a big impact in the Blue Lodge. By taking this action, you are literally changing the morale of the lodge brothers, giving them a new way of looking at things, re-establishing the true goals for the lodge brothers to attain, and striving to make the lodge function properly again. Since this is not an overnight solution, be prepared to deal with setbacks, feelings of doubt, and of course continuing to do what is needed when others question your zeal.
Second Way to Keep Your Masonic Lodge’s Doors Open.
Start having private talks with the current leadership of your blue lodge. Why? You need to get on the same page with your lodge’s leadership team to better understand the current state of the fraternity from their eyes. Listen to them and get to understand their perspective of reality. If it sounds like communication is a problem in the lodge, then these private talks will help enlighten you to what they are thinking. Further, it will not be seen as an attack of their leadership style in front of the entire craft in a regular meeting. So, therefore, they will trust you more and respect your drive to improve the lodge while not publicly attacking them for anything in their control or that may be actually beyond their control as well.
Please be aware, I am a Past Master and I understand that the Worshipful Master is the top leader of the lodge. This brother is in control of everything related to the lodge during his year. With that being said, it is fair to say that an “Act of God” event does happen from time to time. Also, in some cases, the sitting Worshipful Master has inherited issues from the previous sitting Master’s year. Unfortunately, he can fix the past and simply has to deal with the repercussions of the past events now however he deems is best for the craft.
Back to my original point, if you don’t understand why the executive committee of your lodge is making the decisions they are making – talk to them privately. As a common courtesy among brothers, you owe it to them to talk to them before you publicly voice your discontent. During these private talks, you may find out a lot. You may determine they are part of the problem or they have a very similar vision for the future as you do. If you learn that they are part of the problem start digging deeper to really understand why they are doing things they are doing. Ask questions about where they see the lodge in 10 years, 20 years, or maybe in one year. It is not uncommon to find brothers that are interested in merging with another local lodge as a way to solve all their problems. Ask yourself if merging your blue lodge is a potential solution or not.
In some cases, just starting to privately talk can help identify the barriers that prevent your lodge from improving its overall health. With that being said getting communication going is a big step to changing the lodge’s current reality. These talks can build strong possible allies in overcoming those barriers to the lodge’s success in keeping its doors open. It will enlighten you on what is being planned, not being planned, and what has/hasn’t worked in the past plus why as well. Finally, some lodge leaders may find hope in your efforts and become inspired to see brothers want to fix the health of the Blue Lodge.
Third Way to Keep Your Local Blue Lodge’s Doors Open.
Even if you are not currently an appointed or elect lodge officer does not mean you can’t be an informal leader. If you still believe that your lodge leadership doesn’t get it or worse yet is simply ignoring the problem entirely. Then you need to take the initiative to improve your local Freemason lodge. Remember, just because you are not in a leadership role doesn’t mean that you can’t lead. Here are things you can do to improve your fraternity while not being on a lodge officer:
- Strengthen the brotherhood – The foundation of brotherhood is the strength of the friendships between the brothers. Work on making your brothers become better friends. Achieve this by asking them to hang out with you. Get them to want to begin eating more meals together. This means a lot of work for you – ask brothers to go to the gym and work out with you a few other brothers. Ask them to do a couples date night together. Maybe it is as simple as planning a social card night or bowling night for the brothers. Never exclude anyone for any reason especially the current lodge officers. The more time you spend with your brothers, the closer you will become. This will strengthen the brotherhood and possibly change the direction of the health of your blue lodge all together.
- Improve your Freemason Blue Lodge’s image – Here are 2 simple steps to effectively do this.
- The first step in improving your image is to make sure you represent yourself in a way that brings honor to yourself and credit to the fraternity. Be a role model, a lifelong student, a friend, an ethical business professional, and an active member of your community. And wear your Square and Compass on a polo shirt, jacket, hat, or ring. Let everyone know you are proud to be in the Freemasons.
- The second step is by letting others know how good your Blue Lodge actually is. Never miss an opportunity to brag on your blue lodge with outsiders. There are good things about your local fraternity – focus and celebrate those things. Tell your wife/girlfriend, your kids, and your extended family how awesome your social events are. Tell prospective new members about the great brotherhood events you have. Tell your boss at work about how being in the fraternity has improved your ethical decision-making abilities. This type of positive energy is infectious. If enough brothers take in upon themselves to share how awesome the Masonic Lodge is in their personal lives, it won’t take long before the entire Blue Lodge actually believes it again.
- Get active in the Community – Fresh blood does wonders for any blue lodge. New candidates and the new brothers are excited to start their fraternity experience and have no idea the baggage the Blue Lodge has. Be honest and let them know the challenges then empower them a chance to fix it with or without you. Focus on the positives, and feed off their energy. Empower them to improve your local Blue Lodge by getting active in the community. Here are some ideas to get the brothers engaged as Freemasons in the community
- 4th of July Parade Participants
- Halloween Community Event Candy Hander Outers
- Book Reader in an Elementary School Class
- Host a Movie Night at the Lodge
- Give tours of the lodge on weekends to local citizens and/or tourists in your community
- Setting up and volunteering for the Freemason Table at a community event
- Awarding Police/Fire/EMT with plaques for excellence in Service at a City/Town Council Meeting
- Be active on Social Media presenting Freemasonry is alive and well in the community
- Volunteer for local goodwill projects like – Habitat for Humanity or a Community Food Bank
- Plan something out of the box – Struggling Masonic Lodges need something awesome to happen to them. They need to have a success – big or small to brag about. The Craft needs to share the story of this success to the community. They need to tell about the experiences of the success to brag about. So, be the brother who comes up with an awesome idea and makes it a reality. Maybe a free Masonic Lodge Pancake Breakfast for the entire community to attend or maybe it is a giving away toys during the holidays to foster kids, whatever you choose to do – make it truly epic. This will bring your lodge brothers closer together. Also, it will boost the pride in the Masonic Lodge dramatically because they now have something they can be proud of beyond being raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in the masonic lodge building.
If you follow these steps, your Blue Lodge may see improvements, but remember it starts with you. These are subtle things you can do that will have dramatic results on the lodge brothers as well as yourself too. Remember, the underlying theme is to focus on the ‘positives’ by taking the personal initiative to improve your local Freemason Lodge. Okay, I hope these ideas help you and your lodge in the coming year. So I have put a lot of hours into this website and the Freemasonry Report Youtube Channel as well. I hope you explore the Freemasonry Report further to get more ideas and questions answered.
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The Freemasonry Report will be writing more articles to help grow the fraternity. The Freemasonry Report hopes this information was helpful to you. If you want more Freemasonry topics to read? Good news, the Freemasonry Report is creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours creating this information, so take a moment to read each one! Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? More good news, the Freemasonry Report is creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your fingertips! If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!