Your Prediction: Freemasonry in 5-10 Years

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Where do you see Freemasonry in the next 10 years? I predict:

    1. 20-30% of Rural Masonic Lodges will cease to exist. From a historic perspective, it's unfortunate, but I believe it's for the better. There are so many Lodges out there with a "woe woe woe is me" attitude. I've attended Lodge where the only purpose is to keep the lights on. They whine about membership, but do nothing to increase it. Their Lodge is run down, but they no longer have the drive to repair it.

    2. Lodges located in higher populated areas will flourish.


    This may appear to be gloom and doom, but I feel that in the next 10-15 years, there will be a huge resurgence of Freemasonry in Texas. What predictions do you have?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  2. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    You get right to the point I don’t you. LOL
    Some good points, and time might prove you right, but I hope not completely. One point you did not cover in many of our Lodges, it is AGE that will kill them.
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    To me we already hit rock bottom and we are now on the way out. The ritual work is slowly and painfully becoming somewhat of a priority again. The feel for a need to investigate our candidates more intently and the talk of Masonry being to cheap are all signs we are moving upward and onward. This site is a huge sign also that there are men in Masonry that are not satisfied with the status que.
    I see Texas Masonry in 5-10 years just refinding her stride some old Lodges will go but the old ones trying, will stay b/c we want them to. The numbers will be smaller but much more qualified will call themselves Masons and much more will get done and the Craft will work properly so that we may profit and pleasure therby.
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    You are 100% correct.
     
  5. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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    Have personally seen none of the "older" lodges but am aware of them. I think the rise/fall/rise of some of these older rural lodges is unavoidable, as fraternal membership -- like all things -- tends to fall in and out of fashion. I think it has been falling out of fashion for a long time, but has hit bottom, and is beginning to come back. The problem is, it's difficult to attract fresh brethren to a lodge whose membership is all 60+... the younger guys just don't feel they have much in common with the older ones, and vice-versa. Not sure there's a cure for that.

    Since we don't actively recruit (and I don't advocate we start), I think we need to do the closest thing we can to that, which is get ourselves out there. Try our best to hold ourselves to the highest standards, and don't be afraid to display our membership in the greatest fraternity on earth (so long as it's not done to excess or in a tacky manner). Let's try harder to make sure people know what masonry is all about, and that our lodges exist, and where. Perhaps we can't run ads as such, but that doesn't mean we can't publicize our existance. Curiosity will go a long ways.

    One thing we must never do is become complacent. If a lodge is to survive, it must continously renew itself.
     
  6. KD5NM

    KD5NM Registered User

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    How about cutting us old guys a little slack. A lot of smaller Lodges are raising some younger Master Masons, but are losing the older ones at a similar or faster rate. most of or younger ones (not all of them) don't participate much once they are raised, that may be partly be our fault for not offering them something more interesting than stated meetings and ritual practice.
    We have about 75 members (down from 82 ten years ago) but only the same 12 to 15 people ever come to Lodge. The same six to eight members do all the work for our fundraisers and it ain't cause everyone else isn't asked to help.
    We have a 80 year old going into the East this year, and only one in the lineup under 60.
    If anyone has some good ideas on getting the younger guys more involved, lets hear it.
    I wish our lodge had a few younger, enthuistic members such as yourself, but we will keep on trying as long as we can. (Sorry if this sounds like whining).
    Keep up the good work, I really like and appreciate this forum.
    Bill Gordon, P.M., Sec.
    Malakoff Lodge 759
     
  7. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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    No offense intended, brother. Just observing that age creates a gap on BOTH sides that's generally hard to overcome. I see this in my lodge from the fact that few of the older brethren show-up. At one point, we asked a few of those who do to talk to their like-aged brethren who rarely participate, and see what we could do to encourage them. While there were many reasons (moved away, unable due to physical/medical concerns), one of the most supplied answers was that they felt little or nothing in common with the now more prevelent younger brothers! How sad that is, for ALL of us.

    I think the "core" group you see is common for most lodges. A fairly small group regularly show-up for things, a few come on occasion, and most, rarely or never. I think we need to talk to the rarely or never group, and see what keeps them away -- regardless of age.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2009
  8. Joey

    Joey Co-Founder Staff Member

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    I agree. I was shocked when I went to Grand Lodge to see the sea of grey hair in the auditorium. We must get younger members involved otherwise we are going to be in some seriously bad shape in a few years.
     
  9. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Masonry will keep on keeping on. These same stories of "numbers falling, membership failing, we are doomed" have been around in short talk bulletins since the 1930 and before. There have been many articles and books spent on the subject, and yet it keeps on keeping on. Equating numbers to success will always result in failure. All the new fancy ways to increase numbers only works temporarily, end the end you have members, not Masons.

    The Lodges job is to create Master Masons. To do that you have to get people involved. To use the word of the month, proper vetting is needed. Set the expectations of candidates from jump. Then meet the expectations you have set.
     
  10. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I do not want to sound like I am preaching from a soap box b/c I know it will be a diffrent path for all Lodges but commonality was found between the generation @ 148 and it was done by the 2nd liberal art of rhetoric. There generation sees Masonry one way and we see it in another but in the end both paths lead us to the same place and sitting down to talk with them trying to find common ground (among many other activities) showed us this and we now have the best of allies with our older generation Masons they are very proud of our work and are begining to trust us to pass the torch, which has allowed Masonry, the machine to come alive again in our Lodge.
    We started the creation of an atmosphere where the older guys trust the younger ones, we are still working to get it right but they see that through our consistancy and hard work we are serious about the Craft and they want to do all they can help.
    Sometimes are egos make us bo-up and be manly which creates divides that are not truly believed within the man but in order to keep his stature in society he follows the smooth and paved road not the rough and rugged one Masonry requires a man to walk.
    Alot of times the walls we see dividing seem to be as strong as the walls of Jericho, but just like Joshua and his people we can circumabulate the walls and merley scream the walls to the ground. The one thing I do know will be the same for all Lodges, it will be hard hard work nothing worth while isn't.
     
  11. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I need to do a study on our demographics, but here's a quick look:

    5 out of 85 members were born after 1960.

    10 out of 85 members were born after to 1950

    However, 36 out of 85 members are over the age of 70.

    Things may be on the upswing in the large cities, but I see a whole lotta hurt coming for us rural guys.
     
  12. KD5NM

    KD5NM Registered User

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    Blake, You might also take a look at how many of your members are actually paying dues.
    At my Lodge after subtracting the 50 yr, and life members only about half of the membership is paying the bills.
    I agree that we want quality MASONS, but numbers do count.
     
  13. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    Think we are in bad shape.. ! The numbers are way down and our members to the percentage of population are way down. This has worked its way down to the other bodies that depend on the blue lodge for its members.

    One problem as I see it is that we have gotten away from what we did in the past. and when you say that the first reaction is some old dog that can't put up with the "CHANGE". and the committee on CHANGE has done a lot of damage in the name of improvement. They sat around and dreamp up the opening and closing of the EA and FC then want the new master to learn it.. ? Then for some reason the opening and closing of the Master Masons Lodge of Sorrow has become all important..? kinda like one of those things that is good to know so we are going to require it..? I think that coming into someone's lodge and grading the opeing and closing is an insult. If they were just there to teach or help would be a different story, but to grade another mason..?

    I know the work is important. as a past district deputy, past master of our lodge, past district instructor and have held an "A" certificate for 25 years we always tried to pass on the work.. and do it correct.. !
     
  14. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Blake, we are making quite a few new Masons in San Antonio but they are spread over 24 Lodges. How many new Masons do you have in Gonzales? In Floresville we have 4 EA working at this time. That's not bad when you consider we have only 67 members. I think in the small towns word gets around the community when a new candidate joins.
     
  15. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    i feel lodges need to do more for their young masons to keep them wanting to come back and attract new members. we just did a fundraiser in for our local districts ffa livestock show. this did 2 things for our lodge. the first thing is that it got us out into the community and people had questions about the fraternity. it brought light to the community on who we are. the second thing is that it brought us out of the lodge to do something together. we had a great time working hard and spending time as friends and brothers. i am a past master and an a certificate holder. i am only 31. to make this enjoyable we need to do more than have stated meetings and study nights. both of which are neccessary but boring. last month a group of us went to the east west shrine game and had a blast fellowshiping with masons. these are things that old and new masons alike can enjoy doing and promote the greatest fraternity in the world. from spending this time together we have come up with newer ideas on things that we can do together. i can say one thing about our lodge. we have problems like everyone else is having but we have a young lodge that keeps getting more vibrant.
    fairbankslodge.com
     
  16. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    I think you have the right idea.. !
     
  17. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I love the idea of participating in the FFA. That's right up our alley.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2009
  18. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    Yes the stock show is a very good idea. I'm going to bring that up at our meeting tomorrow night.
    Do you have someone assigned to teach your EAs? I know its hard to get instructors, especially in a small Lodge. Don't be afraid to teach the new guys. You know the Q&As. Even if you have to brush up on them before the lesson, you can do it. I promise if you are weak on some of the Q&As, you will benefit from teaching. It will be good practice for you!
    Keep up the good work.
     
  19. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    At the moment we have someone who can teach, but he also has health issues. It must be karma, 10 minutes after I posted that comment, our new EA msg'd me asking if I was available this week...woot! BTW, this is my first candidate and I'm rusty as hell on the questions..lol. I knew this guy all throughout school and I really want him to go through the work, even if we have to stumble through it together.
     
  20. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    brother i would teach the candidate and get him through his proficiency by any means. memorizing doesnt make a man a mason. its the obligation .
     

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