THE MASONIC LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE
“Grand Master, I am having problems in my Lodge, getting members to participate.” These words were shared with me on several occasions during the recent District Instructional Meetings, by Worshipful Masters concerned about the future of their Lodge. These words certainly signal great concern for a Lodge, especially when they rise to the level of a conversation with the Grand Master and I certainly take them seriously. More importantly, it signals that the Lodge needs to work to address the issue. Often, the Worshipful Master and Officers, find themselves dealing with issues that have not been addressed within their Lodge, but address the issues, they must!
Brethren, I have reminded all the Officers attending the District Instructional Meetings of the obligation they took as officers by reciting the obligation.
“I, Michael Duane Smith, do solemnly promise that I will serve this Lodge as _______, for the space of one year, from the festival of St. John the Evangelist to the one next ensuing and will perform all the duties appertaining to that one office to the best of my abilities, so help me God.” I follow up by asking them if they understood and took that obligation seriously, do they mean it, do they own it!
Officers are expected to know their role and to give their best effort in the work and support as a member of the leadership team. The emphasis points for this year are as follows based direct member feedback!
1. Candidate Proficiency – All candidates are expected to demonstrate full proficiency in all degrees. They will appreciate their accomplishment and will be better prepared to assist the Lodge with pride.
2. Quality of the Work – Focus on teaching the candidates with Ritual Excellence. Masters have been asked to lead more practice including teaching officers how to read the Ritual correctly.
3. Improve Member Communications – Using email, calls, letters & texts to keep your members informed of all Lodge Activity.
4. Improve Lodge Education - Masters have been asked to provide Masonic Education at all Regular Meetings. Focus on the Ahiman Rezon, Ritual and the Lodge of the Future Lesson Plans.
Let’s OWN IT, and work together in 2018 and begin to focus on those things which enable renewal, stability and success. What will it take to make that happen? Masonic Leadership with a focused, realistic approach specific for your Lodge this year. Please see the Grand Masters Lesson plan at www.scgrandlodgeafm.com and click on the resources tab to get Lesson Plan No. 4. Your actions now will impact your Lodge for many years to come. Consider these questions for your Lodge. Can a Lodge survive if the work cannot be properly exemplified? Can a Lodge survive if they do not stay in constant contact with their members, all of them? Can a Lodge survive if they do not understand where they are and can the Lodge meet the obligations to be a Lodge of Ancient Free Masons in SC. Brethren, it means something to be a Freemason in South Carolina.
Masonic Leadership is needed now in your Lodge! Lead the Craft by showing them that you care for them and the Lodge! Your Grand Lodge Officers are here to help you succeed.
Wardens are expected to attend the New Wardens Leadership Workshops either on March 3rd at the Greenville Scottish Rite Center or March 10th at the Charleston Scottish Rite Center.
Michael D. Smith, Sr.