My Brothers, the math is simple. Past Grand Master Siewert had it worked out when he was in the Grand East. We need 25 thousand Master Masons in Wisconsin to make us self sufficient and we need to be able to maintain or better that number each year to be healthy as an organization. As he puts it, “We can’t keep living off of dead men’s money.”
He is correct.Trying to ignore the fact does not make it go away. So we need to confront the issue and make things right. As a result we have adopted a goal to have 25,000 Master Masons on our roles by 2025.
Why 2025? We must create the sense of urgency necessary to cause us to find success. Success is as personal as your toothbrush.
The plan to reach that success therefore must be found in each individual Lodge. Lodges are where Masonry must happen and it is in Lodges that Masonry must succeed. No big Grand Lodge magic act will make this happen. Sit down and do the math. Look at your own circumstances. The math is not particularly complicated if you are a Lodge of 11 members today you must find your way to 25 Master Masons in the next 11 years. That is a factor of about 2.32. So if you number 60 Master Masons today you should be planning to have roughly 139 Master Masons by the end of 2025 and so on. How are you going to get there? Each Lodge’s road to success will be different.
First, recognize that there is a different answer and a different problem for each Lodge. Much will depend on your average age. If it is 40 you have a much different equation and type of challenge than if is 80. Part of your challenge may be to find younger men and let them have the reigns with solid mentoring from your grey beards. Force your average age down to make the solution more manageable. All is dependent on first finding or making friends and then helping them become Brothers.
If your Lodge is well known and valued by your community you have a different set of opportunities than if you have been keeping your light under a basket. If the clerk at the Kwik Trip can readily give directions to your Lodge building the issues are much different than the Lodge the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t even know exists.
Each Brother much step-up and start community outreach through his family. His family, you ask? Yes, and that means we must be practicing family friendly Masonry. What does involvement in Lodge mean to our Brothers’ families? If it means fewer husband or Dad hours available, that is the wrong path. If it means a broader circle of friends, great take home attitudes after a Lodge meeting that got the Brother home in time to tuck in his kids and watch the evening news with his spouse, you are probably on the right track. Your spouse will say more to the community about how to view the Lodge and Lodge membership than you ever possibly can.
As with all of our issues, the solution is about finding the answer in your Lodge. Now my Brothers, the challenge, you have to decide to act. Let’s start now.