Dealing with lazy EA's

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Our Lodge has a handful of EA's who attend meetings, but fail to continue, much less finish their work and many of them have gone over their one year deadline. How should they be dealt with?

    Ironically, when I was first initiated, EA's and FC's couldn't attend a stated meeting as business was conducted in a MM's Lodge. At the time, I was all for removing that requirement, but now, I think it may of been a good thing. Why should someone who fails to complete the work and pay dues, have virtually the same benefits?
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  2. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

    Is anyone working with them the nights they are at lodge?
    Is anyone working with them through out the rest of the week/month?
    If they are stuck at a certain point, maybe attending an EA degree would help them "make it all click!"
  3. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

    while attending the meeting is great FUN :) we are talking almost 3 hrs with the meal and chit chat that they could have used to find the point where it all clicked so to speak . Have you thought about calling an EA lodge where EAs are invited and you confer a mock degree ? is that acceptable in Texas ? it may help them get interested in the work again ?
  4. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    Please do not confuse "entitlements" with "benefits." They are entitled to some things. They have yet to do the Work, so they shall not benefit one bit.
    dalinkou likes this.
  5. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

    We have several EAs' ourselves . We open and do all business on the MM degree and I refuse to vote to change it .

    As one of the Lodge mentors I was asked to make calls and push them into studying their catechisms . I will not push anyone into anything . I gave them my phone number and address , I told them I am here for them when they are ready , I am not going to waste my time calling them and begging them to study . We all came to Freemasonry of our own free will and accord , we progressed through the degrees of our own free will and accord , I called my mentor when I was ready to study , not the other way around . If they do not want to be Masons , then let them go on their merry way .

    I know many see it differently but I went through the same degrees they have , I took the time to call my mentor and ASK for his help , I worked my way through the degrees , I recognized that the brethren took time out of their lives to come and confer the degrees and/or sit on the sidelines So I thought , if they can take the time out of their lives , then I should return the favor by studying . I did not not need to be "pushed" because I wanted to be a Master Mason .

    Just my 2 pence .
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2012
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  6. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    I was going to post almost the same thing as Ashlar. The EA always came across to me as the stage in Masonry where the wheat gets separated from the chaff.

    I've noticed that if someone isn't interested in learning what they need in order to advance, it will often be the most apparent with EAs. I say if they aren't interested, let them be.
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  7. filmgeekben

    filmgeekben Registered User

    I agree with what Robert said. I have just recently been passed after a couple months as an EA. In that time I sat in lodge once and attended an EA degree.

    One night the lodge opened on the third degree and a brother(MM) sat with me and we practiced the EA catechism. That was very helpful in inspiring me to nail the proficiency and continue on.
  8. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

    I'm inclined to agree with the above. If they don't want to come, don't make them. You can invite them all you want, but if they aren't interested, you'll just be forcing them to do something they don't want to do, and as soon as that push disappears, they will too. You won't be doing either yourself or the individual much benefit.

    Send them an invite, email, text, sure, but don't bother begging/persuading, etc, its wasted effort.
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  9. eagle1966

    eagle1966 Guest

    I tend to agree with all that has been said here. My take on Lazy EAs is "you can't push a rope" if they don't have the desire or drive to complete the work needed then either it was not made clear in investigation the amount of time reqired or this was not what they were expecting.
    BroBook likes this.
  10. cleighty

    cleighty Registered User

    As an EA myself currently our lodge will not open in the first degree unless there is a a reason for EA's to attend. Personally that gives me a reason to finish my last two degrees. I was able to learn my work in a couple of months performed my proficiency very well I even helped my examiner in a few places. I am anxiously waiting for my next degree in a week and a half and start studying the work for my FC.

    If they can attend lodge as an EA what is there incintive to finish in a timely fashion. Don't get me wrong they should want and desire to learn and do there work in a fashion that brings them closer to the brotherhood.
  11. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

    My two cents...just from thinking about a possible solution...from the very beginning, make sure candidates are not overburdened with their vocation and family life before they are initiated. Some good men might be great candidates, but it may not be the right time for them to begin the journey of masonry.

    Again just my two cents.
  12. s_pike

    s_pike Registered User

    Here's my outlook on lazy EA's.
    I Became a Mason in 2008. I was, and still am working 12 to 14 hour days... a lot of the weeks I work(ed) 6 days and I do work a lot of 7 day work weeks too. With that said, I always found the time to call my instructor to set up a study day so I could work on my proficiency. Now, it almost took me the entire year to complete my EA work, but I did it! I was exhausted but determined to become a Master Mason and being proficient in the EA degree was my first step. I was not permitted into the Lodge during Stated Meetings because at that time, only MM's could attend the business meetings... That made me want it even more! I wanted to be a part of the whole process of our Lodges daily activities and I was determined to get to my goals. If its easy to attain.... It's probably not worth diddly squat in the end! Hard work ALWAYS pays off! I tell that to every EA that walks through our doors. Only the men who truely want what Masonry can bring into their lives will make every effort to attain their goals. We can't force anyone to do anything... It's all up to them!
  13. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

    Exactly , this is where we find those who want to be MASONS and those who do not want to work for it .

    On a side note , I deliver many lectures or confer the degree myself in the EA (well , all three degrees) and I can tell by the look in their eyes who are serious and who we will never see again . You can see the boredom , the disconnect , the lack of enthusiasm in their eyes and when the degree work is over , the lodge closed and the candidate on his way home , I will tell the Craft that we will never see them again . You can tell who is hungry for Masonry and who is not . I have been correct in all my assessments of candidates save one , he really surprised me .

    Funny story ... my Father-in-law , who gave me my petition and top signed it , thought I would be one of those who would not take it serious and never return my EA catechism . Here I am , many years later a Past Master and current Master of my Mother lodge , SW in my second lodge and future DDGM in my district . I guess I showed him .
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  14. hlnelson

    hlnelson Registered User

    If these EAs are lazy now what makes you think they'll change if or when they are raised. If their vocation, family obligations or anything else is a problem with their time for study, practice or meetings its up to them to let the WM or lodge know.
    These are grown men who came I suppose of their own free will and accord. I wouldn't waist my time trying get grown men to do what they should in the first place. I would give them notice, if that don't work then I would cut my loses and move on.
    Just my opinion
    Flatworlder likes this.
  15. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

    I have heard EAs' use the work and /or family excuses many times . What I find odd is that they are to busy to study for 30 minutes to an hour with a mentor a couple of times a week , but they have time to go fishing , hunting , 4 wheeling , going to or sitting for hours in front of the TV on the weekend watching sporting events .

    One makes time for what is important and taking a couple of hours a week to study is not to much to ask for and will not break up marriages (well , if it does then the marriage was doomed from the start) .
  16. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    I always say it's not usually a matter of time so much as it is a matter of priorities.
  17. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    I agree that begging EAs to finish their work is of no value. The eager will, the lifeless are lost causes in waiting.

    And it has crossed my mind that allowing EAs to attend business meetings has been of little value. In fact, we have EAs attending who have progressed little if any in their work.

    The biggest problem I see is that there is so much light that could be imparted to masters that can't be discussed in the presence of EAs and FCs. In short, we are stunting the growth, development, and interest of newly made MMs in many cases. I am toying with the idea of a monthly study program only for MMs. This could dangle the apple before non masters but it's sure to offer the apple for those who hunger most.

    Just a thought on the topic. I think it is a good one. Thanks Brother Blake.
  18. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

    Masonry does not revere the beehive for nothing! A lazy EA wants something for nothing. The fruits of a lazy person usually costs himself little or nothing. A lazy EA is simply not endowed with all the good and essential qualifications necessary to fulfill the requirements of a FC or MM.
  19. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

    Opening on the EA degree for a Stated Communication is at the discretion of the Master. Several lodges in our area continue to open on the third degree for all Stated Communications. We also occasionally open an EA Lodge of Instruction to further explain the lessons of the first degree and the workings of the lodge, especially when we have several brothers who are newly initiated.

    As others have suggested, the best solution to this problem is during the investigation period. Some have the desire to complete their journey, and others do not.
  20. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

    On a side note others return and complete their catechism, 25-40 years after their initiation, and become active Masons and contributors to our fraternity...personally I know of two brothers who fall in to this category.

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