Brethren, Before we introduce our next Masonic Education topic, let’s review the first 2 lessons in the “Lodge of the Future” series of Lesson Plans and Lodge Education Topics.
In Lesson 1, you should have gathered your Lodge membership data and determined how your Lodge will address your Membership trends, Dues and Lodge Expenses, Membership Communication so as to determine where you are today and begin thinking about your Lodge. At current Membership levels how long will your Lodge be sustainable.
In Lesson 2, Membership Engagement, we raised the questions and your Lodge should had discussed how to improve Membership Value, Communication, and how to better care, one for the other as promised. It is all about improving communication with all your members and getting them involved and engaged.
Lesson 3, Sustainable Leadership is being introduced and the Masonic Education Lesson Plan can be found at www.scgrandlodgeafm.org under the Resources Tab.
Let’s begin by asking the important question of how many new members raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in the last 5 years are active in your Lodge today? From the travels of our Grand Lodge officers, District Deputy Reports and discussions, it appears that most of our new members are joining us and not active in our Lodge Leadership as officers or committeemen. Is it possible we have failed to set ALL the craft to work and give good and wholesome instruction? In discussion with new members from various Lodges, we make an impression when they receive their degrees. Some report favorable impression, while others report less than favorable experience and voice concern.
Sustainable Leadership is another critical item for us to consider for the Lodge of the Future. Who will be the officers and will they be successful beyond 2020? Will your lodge have qualified men to serve as leader of their peers or will we continue to rotate leadership roles between our Past Masters, who continue to serve the Lodge.
Sustainable Leadership, in the Lodge setting, is all about the process of selecting, engaging, and training members who will lead our Lodges by serving the membership, and consistently improving the Quality of the Lodge Membership. This is an important task for the Past Masters and Officers to work together with an eye to the future of the Lodge. Too many times we see a rift between the generations with one side on “That’s the way we have always done it” and “What if we tried new ways to get members involved.” I am here to say, in my opinion both are correct! We need structure and tradition, if and only if the tradition is good and follows our specific ritual, and also new ways to get members involved.
So our Lesson plan will offer some discussion topics to help develop our new members for future leadership. It will come at a price. The price is giving of ourselves, as current Leaders and Officers, to assign ritual parts to the newest members, coaching does not stop with the completion of catechism! By sharing the proper and correct way to delivering the important lesson is our great care and one that helps get members on the path to effective leadership. It comes at a price of assigning our newest members to investigation committees with seasoned members, to teach how to work with a new candidate and his family on Lodge membership. It comes at a price by assigning new members to committees on how to balance needs of the Lodge and the financial resources to get the job done, or to positively impact the image of the Lodge to our members, our families and our communities. Step by step we learn and teach. Step by step we approach the East and making a positive impact as a leader.
Finally, Servant Leadership is about leading for a short time your peers or your brothers, and having a positive influence. Servant Leadership is about helping others be better than themselves. In the Scottish Rite Easter Sunday Service we close with the following charge from the Leader, “May the Peace of Our Master be with you and remain with you always. It is always better to Love than to hate. Remember our duty is not to be better that others but to be better than ourselves, and the more we have the more we owe those around us who are in need.” May your Lodge of the Future be filled with servant leaders, each in his turn contributing to the benefit of all the Lodge Members, Families and Communities, and by doing so with the right attitude, provide for the next generation of engaged, enlightened Servant Leaders for the Glory of God and betterment of each other.