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Impact on the Grand Lodge
Last Post 21 Dec 2012 04:51 AM by . 5 Replies.
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JaxUser is Offline
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23 Nov 2009 06:28 PM QuoteQuote ReplyReply  

The promise of a new lodge is, eventually, how will it give back to larger community. This may include our city or neighborhood, the other lodges, and to the Grand Lodge. Is this necessary in order to be a “good” lodge? How should we best accomplish this?

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23 Nov 2009 06:28 PM QuoteQuote ReplyReply  

My opinion on this has evolved over the past few years. As someone who came from a big lodge, nevertheless, I'm now convinced that Masonry is better served by having more and smaller lodges, versus my earlier view that it doesn't much matter.

Every lodge can provide some 20 to 25 leadership positions. Conversely, to lose a lodge means to lose that many potential leaders, and that a smaller proportion of the brethren are likely to exhibit the level of 'ownership' that leaders have.

I think one of the things we can learn from lodges in the UK is that a membership limit is a good thing. The typical UK lodge will cut off membership gains at 100 or 125, at which point the brethren are encouraged to form a daughter lodge. Sociologist Robert Putnam wrote, in his book Bowling Alone, how groups thrive with a level of intimacy and bonding up to about 130. Anything more than this leads to more fragmented relationships.

I think the *right* amount of membership depends on the number where leadership is sustainable, and where we are not struggling to fill chairs. North of 60 men, I suppose, and less than 130. It is also a useful lesson to draw from our British brethren that members ought to be given a summons to attend each meeting. The expectation must be set that attendence is required except with prior-approal. We're moving the dial on this issue here in the States, so this will be a struggle for a new-model lodge.

The impact on the Grand Lodge is that, if we can show how a 'smaller' lodge can nevertheless function well, we help other lodges stay in the game. They need not merge into a superlodge in order to survive.

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23 Nov 2009 06:29 PM QuoteQuote ReplyReply  

 

Posted by John Gann

I am increasingly convinced that a smaller, higher-quality, and better connected lodge is the way to go. In such a lodge, the expectation is clear: you are treated, taught, and mentored well so that you are prepared to assume a meaningful role in the lodge. With a smaller lodge, you will be closer to your Brothers and more tied into the success of its endeavors.

This is not to say that there is not a role for larger lodges, only that there are discernable advantages to smaller, focused, high-functioning lodges and these advantages should be deliberately focused upon for the good of the Brothers and Initiates.

What is a good size? Of course, it depends on a lot of factors. That being said, I would love to see a lodge with a cap of 40....

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21 Dec 2009 09:14 PM QuoteQuote ReplyReply  
Forty, John? That offers a pretty slim bench to draw from for leaders. Today, Churchill Lodge has just under 40 members, with a cap set at 60. I don't anticipate problems filling the ranks of officers for the next five years or so, but I wonder if with 'just' 40 we would be in a position to begin repeating after that? Probably not, but it shows the importance of continually grooming new potential officers. The man who reluctantly says, "OK, I'll serve as Chaplain" may in a few years time blossom to become a first-rate Master.

For us, once we grow beyond 40 members we really must challenge ourselves to create better ways to engage with other local lodges, to help them, work with their leaders, and by so doing, find successful ways to keep our own members engaged. We are, after all, committed to serve the Grand Lodge as a mentoring resource.
JRGann
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28 Dec 2009 01:42 PM QuoteQuote ReplyReply  

We can quibble over the exact number, but the fundamental point remains: a lodge that is focused, committed, strong, vibrant because its members are focused, committed, strong, vibrant.

Masonry in America for too long has been about numbers; we should be, first, about quality and integrity.

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21 Dec 2012 04:51 AM QuoteQuote ReplyReply  
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