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Revitalization Project
Posted: 11 May 2016 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Brethren,

My name is Christopher Johnson, and I’ve decided to undertake a project, the results of which I will gladly publish and share on this site.  As you all know, our fraternity has seen a dramatic decline in overall membership and attendance since the early 1970’s.  Our numbers just aren’t what they were.  On the converse side of that coin, no other fraternal organization has had the same staying power, influence, wide spread membership, or social impact as Freemasonry has had.  We face a challenge, how do we remain relevant in this day and age without causing any material changes in our Masonic Institution?  To this end, I’d like to ask for responses to the following:
What keeps a lodge successful today?
For me, a successful lodge is one that:
A) Has a steady flow of candidates - at least 5 per year minimum.  That’s one candidate for every two months (excluding the months some of us “go dark”) that we have a business meeting.
B) Is financially solvent. That means that money is coming in at a greater rate than money is going out.  Could be from dues, could be from fellowship dinners, could be from community donations, it doesn’t matter.
C) Has an active membership.  We all know lodges, or belong to one, that have a core group of between 4 to 12 brothers that do all the work.  That is NOT what I’m talking about.  If you have at least 25% or greater attendance and involvement from your active, good standing, dues paying members, this is to you.
D) Has a positive community image.  If your community looks favorably on your lodge, or your district, if they know you can be a source of help or good will, or heck, if they know you exist! This is what I’m looking for.
E) Have maintained the spirit and soul of Freemasonry.  We are not a cigar club, though we may have cigar nights.  We are not a community service organization, though we engage in community service projects.  We are not a charity group, though we believe in being charitable.  Freemasonry has always been something greater, a fraternity of men making each other, and the world around us better.  We are, or should be, men who work to fit our every action, thought, and belief into the due bounds of our obligations, and who the non-initiated might look at and desire to emulate.  Men who may disagree with their brethren, but do not allow that to color their interaction with each other or their attendance at lodge.
Not all of our lodges will fit into this definition.  In fact, given the decline of membership that we face, it would not be unfair to say that very few of us will.  So, if your lodge is successful at any one of the above metrics, or more, please let me know what you attribute that success to.  My hope is that I’ll get a lot of answers, enough to actually dive into the reasons and come up with a Success Plan that my lodge, and upon publishing to this site ALL lodges, might be able to borrow from and revitalize our Fraternity.  I’m sure that we would all agree that to do nothing would result in Freemasonry fading from the world, and the world would be the poorer for it.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” - Edmund Burke

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