Good Advice to getting connected to the Best ‘Good Men’ in your local Community.
I think the best advice I can offer to help for your Masonic Blue Lodge’s quest to locate ‘good men’ is this:
Always, Always, Always…Make Contact.
This seems to be a great piece of advice most people forget or they sometimes just feel uncomfortable doing. Making contact is selling and not everyone in your local Masonic lodge is going to be comfortable about doing that. I believe this is the membership numbers in our fraternity are going down because brothers feel that they never signed up to sell the fraternity to other men.
I know it is a paradigm change for the brotherhood to take in, but we need to. There are a lot of fake masonic entities out there. Some are providing literally false information and made-up secrets to the men joining those organizations. Why is this happening? Well, our fraternity works from a place of only recruit men who ask to join first. This is important, but when we have membership literally ignoring to have any conversation with anyone based on this idea, we are creating a false mindset.
Having conversations about our fraternity is critical to its growth. We can’t work and operate from a place where the fraternity is a secret society and no one should interact with outsiders at all. That is a cult. We are not a cult, we are a brotherhood of ‘good men’ that are endlessly trying to improve themselves.
As a Past Master in a Blue Lodge, I have dealt with this mindset. It needs to change and we need to change it. You and I need to start conversations that introduce the fraternity in a positive light. Yes, it is selling and we need to embrace the ‘sale’ because our fraternity is worth talking about. Our fraternity is valuable to ‘good men’ and to our society. Our degrees are priceless and they teach so many lessons that we can learn new things from them over and over again.
So take the chance and/or risk and introduce Freemasonry to friends and family to co-workers and other volunteers from community organizations starting today.
Be extremely transparent.
By being extremely transparent, we are setting the tone. We are addressing the lies and the false narrative in the world about Freemasonry. By engaging with your veteran brothers and alumni officers, we can begin breaking the stereotypes that some people have created about the Freemasons. So get the Past Masters, veteran brothers, officers, and new members as well to get on board as soon as possible.
While many Blue Lodges seem to ignore some of their brothers for any number of reasons, in reality letting them know what strengths and weaknesses your Blue Lodge has can help immensely. Plus, listening to their suggestions and asking questions of best practices from yesteryear is also incredibly important as well. Even if you only gain one idea, it could make the difference in increasing the number of ‘good men’ you can bring into the Blue Lodge.
I recommend full transparency in most things because it addresses the bogus narrative plus it helps get everyone on the same page. It creates a localized group of the best talking points for brothers to have and use. It shows a clear message that can be repeated and repeated by different brothers to the ‘good men’. Thus creating trust with the individual via a clear communication branded message points to be shared in a brother’s own words.
Further, I recommend creating an advisory board that is built to help our fraternity grow. This advisory board’s purpose is to recruit brothers and engage them in the best practices to start having conversations with the best ‘good men’ in their social circles. Having an advisory board leading the way it will allow the lodge officers more time to handle day to day operations of the lodge. Further, the advisory board can be upfront with your brother’s weaknesses heading into a conversation with a good man and help to address the weakness as best as possible. Therefore, the advisory board can help your blue lodge be in the best position possible heading into community conversations.
Keep Your Online Information Up To Date.
Update your Masonic Fraternity Website to make the information current. Take a look at the websites of the Grand Lodge and other Lodges in your Masonic District and see how you compare. Make it your goal to outshine all of them. Yes, your web visitors will respond well to this. Remember, Good Men, Parents, Grandparents, school officials, business professionals, college students, young professionals, and so many others are a key audience for your website. Your website needs to be multi-functional, it should not just be for the brothers. I know, it is so weird to say that, but remember the goal is to grow your fraternity locally with good men. So, therefore, you’re strongest when you have a communication plan for all your web visitors.
Review the contents of your website with the eyes of the type of a good man, not yet a brother or a candidate. Look at the website with the mindset of someone seeking information to make an informed decision about your blue lodge. Then, move forward and fix it accordingly.
I think it is safe to say that blue lodges and grand lodges included are wanting to attract as many future Brothers as possible. A good website needs to convey a message similar to what are brothers are speaking about in the community.
A common theme and/or voice is important.
Here is a good example of one – ‘we are good men with a commitment to learning, improving ourselves based on ethical decisions, improving youth-oriented scholarship opportunities, insisting Patriotic values, and working to support one another in life.’
Once you have crafted your own unique message and supplied it to the brethren, then make the website convey that message. Have a great success stories and testimonials on your past performances? Share them and talk about it.
Maybe you are not interested in any of this and you are just reading this blog article for fun. Maybe you’re just looking for guys to party with. Maybe you are looking to run the lodge without differing opinions and/or challengers to the elected positions. Maybe you need a place to satisfy your own ego without regard to other brothers well being, well, I guess just leave the website alone. Better yet, remove the website and consider returning your charter to your Grand Lodge.
Use (or get) and use a Blue Lodge Social Media Presence.
It’s time to create a blue lodge Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the list goes on and on for these accounts. I recommend to post at least once a week but daily is even better. Breakdown the Masonic Calendar Year into phases for you to gain a structured plan. I recommend inviting 3 to 10 brothers to help you. The more posts by the brothers – the more active influence you will build online.
Be creative – selfies and hashtags are popular plus helpful. Look at trending hashtags and groups where selfies are welcomed. Try to share a mix of messages directed at potential ‘good men’ as well as your current members too.
I would love to start seeing brothers interviewing brothers in their lodge and to hear about examples of what fraternity life is like for them. Explaining the benefits of the fraternity varies greatly from brother to brother. So a potential new ‘good man’ will become inspired by the benefits of our time honor institution has presented to our brethren.
Start by asking your committee chairs, lodge officers, and your historian if you have one appointed in your blue lodge to share their feelings and opinions on this topic to you. You can use the interviews to build a picture of the value your local blue lodge can offer to an individual.
Next, post a lot of pictures of the fun you’re having. This can be degrees or before the stated meetings but I recommend just with being with each other outside of regular activities or events. Showing that we like to ‘hang out’ and enjoy each other’s company is so important. Pictures say a thousand words that words never will be able to deliver the same emotion a picture can evoke.
Track your Grand Lodge’s Social Media Activity.
Social is the future and the future is now. So take a look at your Grand Lodge’s Social Media pages, and repost any messages that lend themselves to being of interest to non-members in your local community. Remember is your resource and you need to take advantage of every advantage they provide to you. If your Grand Lodge is lacking, write legislation to demand the change, and elect pro-Social Media Grand Lodge Officers. Rock the boat and make a difference.
If you don’t have an ear that wants to listen, well maybe you need to run for a Grand Lodge Office or recruit a Brother that is pro-Social Media to step up. This is your fraternity and you need to create the future you want for the future today if necessary. I know that it may be crazy scary to do such a thing but it will certainly change the narrative of the Grand Lodge and that is what needs to happen.
Present Your Blue Lodge’s History in Creative Way.
Need more ideas to share online? Well, create a “Throwback day” where you feature each week. You can share an image from your Blue Lodge’s past. It can be from last year or 100 years ago, a lot of people in the community will become captivated to see this stuff. Your online audience will grow and this will show them the foundation on which your Blue Lodge’s Brotherhood is based.
Encourage your Lodge Brothers to monitor and share some of the posts on the Blue Lodge’s page on their pages. This will expand your reach so your blue lodge can reach a lot more people. Just about everyone these days is on Facebook; so ask them to use Facebook to share the Masonic Lodge as part of your overall conversation starter efforts.
Who knows, perhaps you will be able to involve the traditionally non-active brothers in the lodge to at least do that. Some Brothers just won’t commit to anything and others are too shy to do it., but they may be willing to do this. So ask and ask then ask again. I recommend that you regularly recognize individual Brothers at the stated meeting for their efforts they have done on Twitter, Facebook, or whatever Social Media site. Recognizing brothers for doing good works creates energy and excitement. It sends the message to all the brothers that they can be recognized for doing stuff. Further, it speaks to how our brotherhood treats each other. That energy will be passed on to potential candidates that, hey, you can be recognized, too, when you join us – and these are some of the guys who will become your Brother.
Thanks for reading this blog article and read other topics related to building a better fraternity.
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