Membership Stats

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    5,675
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    Grand Lodge of Texas Membership Statistics:
    2003: 112,977
    2006: 101,803
    2007: 98,398
    2008: 95,289
    We've lost over 17,688 members in just 5 years!
     
  2. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    And we'll probably lose more over the next five.
     
  3. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    Bro Shelton,
    your reasoning for the losses continuing for 5 years, please.
     
  4. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Look at the age demographics for a lot of the lodges out there. Many have a very high percentage of their members in the 70+ year old range. Those guys aren't going to live forever. This is a big reason that the numbers have dropped over the last five years.

    Combine that with the issue of new member retention. While a lot of lodges are bringing in new guys, they aren't replenishing their numbers at the rate they are losing them. With 1 in 4 EAs actually completing the degrees, it ain't looking promising. Many lodges aren't even bringing in new members period, while losing a scary amount to death every year.

    Without strong leadership in both Grand Lodge and our own lodges, especially at this critical point, our retention will probably stay at 1 in 4 for a while. Meanwhile, we keep getting told how lodges are bringing in new EAs at a rate that hasn't been seen in a long time, but I'm not sure that EAs count towards our membership. Somebody may want to help me with this... Estimates are that we will hit 60,000 before picking back up. My guess would go lower than that, maybe to the 40-50,000 range.

    It is gonna get worse before it gets better.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  5. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Yup :crying:
     
  6. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Not really a bad thing though. This is a natural process at work here. We've become bloated nonsense, inactive members, and intolerant, unchanging attitudes. Those who can change and adapt will survive. Those who hold back the fraternity won't. I lot of our issues will resolve themselves this way, just not at the pace we'd like. It is frustrating though. We have an opportunity to right the ship today, but our own ignorance continues to hold us back. With nonsense like resolution #9 coming up, and having the amount of the support it has, it is almost laughable. Looking back through the history books, Masonry has always been at the forefront of social change. Today, we are at least 50 years behind society. #9 is a killer, and the whole non-visitation of Prince Hall lodges reeks of Jim Crow's "seperate but equal" mentality. This kind of thinking doesn't work for the new, young Mason. We will continue to run our future off in droves with this nonsense, all the while GL politicians beat the "retention and membership" drum without having a clue what is really behind it.

    We have the Masonic leaders of tomorrow in our lodges now, asking questions about how to join. This is where the focus needs to be. We continue to beat our heads against the issues that are strangling us, and nothing will be done about them for the time being, because nobody in Waco has the testicular fortitude to actually stand up and risk a loss in popularity by tackling these things with a desire to actually make a difference.

    That being said, bring on the 40-60,000 membership. We need it.
     
  7. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    Thank you. It would have been better if I had asked why you see membership loss bottoming out in 5 years. I would be most happy if I saw the same in my state, Fla.

    I agree with your assessment about age and the retention problem.

    I have come to the conclusion that loss of membership is not all bad. I think that the big influx of members after WW2 was an anomaly that changed the philosophy of Masonry in the US, to that of a service club charitable organization mentality, and gave a false sense that growth would continue forever and now we are paying the piper.

    I believe we have enough members, too many lodges and not enough Masons.
     
  8. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    +1. We've got way too many lodges, to where in a lot of them, membership is spread to an unhealthy thin number. Start merging a few, and give them numbers they can actually thrive with, instead of just survive.
     
  9. luftx

    luftx Premium Member

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    And (especially country) lodges need to review their ways of thinking. One of the lodges that I am a member of has a lot of active members, and we're initiating the EA's (8 EA's in August). But every activity is geared toward the retired folks, for example, all of the degrees start at 6pm on Fridays, with no food served. That is not enough time for some of the working guys to get off from work, get cleaned up, grab a bite and make it to lodge, so mainly most of the members that are there are retired. And when it's brought up to move the time and hour, it gets really uncomfortable.

    I've only been a MM for a little over 3 years, and I'm 51 now, and there aren't many that come that are younger than me.

    We need to change our way of thinking.

    My .02 worth.....

    Robert
     
  10. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    I agree with you. We have 3 Lodges with 5 miles of each other. If those 3 lodges combined in to one Blue Lodge I think we would be able to do WAY more than just survive. But I know that will not happen in my life time. Too much competition between the cities for that to happen. Where do you establish the new lodge? what will the name be? whose number do you use? etc... great idea and maybe one day it will happen but not anytime soon.
     
  11. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    sounds about right:eek:hmy:
     
  12. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Nick, the way I understand it is that you use the number of the oldest lodge, and the names can be combined if the members want. It may be something that you guys in those lodges might start feeling out and looking into. Never know.
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    A few years back, the Grand Secretary's annual report showed that, while older Brethren were dying off faster than new MM's were being raised, the trend was that the gap was closing year by year. There's hope for us yet! ;-)

    Y'all might be pleased to know that, at El Campo #918's stated meeting tonight, #9 went down in flames in our "straw poll". I'll bet the same thing happens next Tuesday night @ Wharton #621. A little 'splainin' goes a long way! ;-)
     
  14. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Yep, there is the silver lining. In a lot of these cases, overall membership is declining due to death, but active membership is increasing. As that gap closes, the numbers will pick back up, I'm just thinking it will take a little longer.
     
  15. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Here is a graph I made after Tom told me some numbers from a speadsheet I sent him. This applies to 148 but I bet it would be similar to Texas Masonry. My question is who compiles this data for the State?
     

    Attached Files:

  16. SSG_Morrison

    SSG_Morrison Registered User

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    I don't look at this as a bad thing either. I would rather have a lodge with 20 people in it for the right reasons, then 100 for the wrong.
     
  17. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    Lodges are actually intended to be small. You should know all of your brothers and more importantly have an intimate environment that allows learning. It's hard to learn if you're just a number in the masses. The massive lodge with hundreds of members is an innovation in Masonry.
     
  18. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Small and active.
     
  19. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    Just did the numbers for El Campo#918
    90 2%
    80 24%
    70 23%
    60 15%
    50 19%
    40 12%
    30 3%
    20 2%

    Doesn't look good for the future with 49% of our members over 70
     
  20. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    That's about what ours look like too. 106 over the age of 70, only 17 under 40.
     

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