Do you prefer a Large or Small Lodge?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by FlBrother324, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. FlBrother324

    FlBrother324 Registered User

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    Reminds me of the old adage: Does one want to be a "big fish in a little pond, or a little fish in a big pond?" I've always found the latter is less personal, and tends to marginalize the individuals effort when in a larger setting.
    Quantity over quality.

    When large events are done, make them District wide, which allows for Brothers to travel and work collectively as a large Fraternal group. Like an annual Outdoor Degree allowing several smaller Lodges to participate while helping with the work load and expenses. All the while creating a memorable event for the newly raised Brother(s).

    Give me the small Lodge any day. Just my humble opinion.

    May the GAOTU Bless you all.


    My Freemasonry
     
  2. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I'm a member of two sister lodges in NM. One has several hundred members, one has less than fifty. Although the larger one is my Mother, my energy eventually focused completely on the smaller one. There was a greater bond between the Brethren, and far more education being presented.
     
  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    My mother lodge is a large one. There are groups that become close doing events together over time. The line is only one of those groups. It works fine and is able to maintain a building so magnificent it gets used in movies, on TV, for weddings and other large events. The building turns a positive cash flow.

    My second lodge was a small one. Eventually we could no longer afford to maintain our building so we sold it and became a tenant. We then lost our draw on our native territory and had to merge. The members of the lodge grew close over the years and the unity has only gradually faded in the years since the merger. When we merged we included the other members of our new lodge into our group and vice versa so the merged worked great.

    I have several take away lessons -

    Large or small works. Buildings without positive cash flow eventually become an albatross that kills the lodge. If you can't afford a building that turns a positive cash flow from rentals you can't afford a building at all. When you merge do it with your heart as well as with your lodge's money. Lodges live and die - When one is dying go ahead and let that process happen but merge before the process completes. When merging if you combine two sick lodges you can end up with one sick lodge so find a lodge where the combination will be one healthy lodge.
     
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  4. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I think affordability doesn't have much to do with size. There's a small lodge nearby that is nearly bankrupt and I know of at least one massive lodge that isn't sustainable either.

    I have no experience being a member of a large lodge but I can tell you that I think I prefer small lodges regardless. They have their disadvantages but it allows for a more tightly knit group of brothers.
     
  5. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Virtually every Grand lodge in the USA/canada is in decline. The decline in numbers is "uneven"; not all lodges are shrinking at the same rate. In the 1800's a lodge of more than 100 members was unthinkable, it was too big for the membership to track each other.

    There are some advantages of large lodges, one of them is an "economy of scale". A large lodge can stand the loss of membership (usually) more easily than a small lodge, which is holding on by its fingernails.

    I believe that we can turn this phenomenon to our advantage. Grand Lodges need to develop policies, which will "ease" the transition, as lodges close and consolidate. Grand Lodge committees can also assist in helping defunct lodges to dispose of property.
     
  6. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    I am in a small lodge and really prefer it that way. I have visited some larger lodges and find that they are not as friendly. In fact, one lodge there were about 60 members present and some didn't know all of their names. Now I am bad with names but I know all of the brothers that have been active in my lodge.
     
  7. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    I'm of two minds on the subject.

    I prefer a medium lodge. I like when I see 25ish brethren on the sidelines not including officers. Lodge does not make better masons but Masons make for a better lodge in certain terms if that makes any kind of sense.

    I've not been a Master Mason for very long but I kind of get this feeling that our fraternity is turning into a money mill for Grand Lodge. "Support your fund raising" "We need brothers at X event to make it successful" Blah Blah Blah.

    I like doing certain activities but I can hear the lodge mumble when the Secretary announces he's about to read correspondence from GL.
     
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  8. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Wait until you start getting mail from them directly! :)
     
    jermy Bell likes this.
  9. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    A small, yet active Lodge.
     
  10. LBCutta

    LBCutta Registered User

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    I agree, 25 members or less gives members a chance to sit in seats and serve on committees.
     
  11. jeffself

    jeffself Registered User

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    My lodge is a small lodge but with over 100 members but attendance is low ..but the main ones that attended r very close


    Sent From My Freemasonry Pro App
     
  12. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

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    I've experienced both. A large lodge with 175 members but 12 showed up to anything, and now a lodge of less than 100 where we can expect 15 at floor practice and 25 at meetings. I prefer the small lodge (but really the large lodge felt small) because it is easier to form the bonds of brotherhood. And if a brother doesn't show up for a couple of weeks people will notice and get a hold of him and see how he is doing. With a large lodge (with large attendance) a man can get lost and fade away.
     
  13. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Big mega-lodges, like big mega-churches are a product of urbanization. I found out some years ago, that there are lodges in the USA, with a "cap" on how many members they may have. I was astounded to learn this.

    Would you like to see your Grand Lodge, impose a "cap" on how many members a lodge could have?

    I believe, that a small lodge is more "intimate" than a big mega-lodge.
     
  14. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I don't think it should be a GL decision, but left up to the individual lodge.
     
  15. Bro. Michael

    Bro. Michael Registered User

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    Agreed. Consolidation of power is undesirable in any situation. Even among the most honorable men, power can never be centralized if freedom is to exist.
     

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