This chart illustrates the rise and fall of Masonic membership from the 1920s to the year 2003.
Since I have yet to get any submissions for Contributor’s Corner, I decided to re-post from another blogger, but I wasn’t certain what to post about. Then, I thought about something I was talking to my district’s Inspector a few months back. We were at an event at another lodge and were discussing how the membership at that lodge once was enormous, but how’s now dwindled. I performed the routine Google search, as I do when I’m interested in a topic, and found this post. As it turns out, it is not just Freemasonry that has faced some decline in membership, but other fraternal orders as well. Why aren’t these groups appealing to as many young members as they had in the by-gone golden age of the 50s and 60s?
As I read, I remembered that my mother in law was telling me how Sunday school attendance had dwindled at her church. I wondered if churches were suffering from the same decline in membership or attendance as these fraternal orders, and what were they doing about it. That search resulted in this post about why people may not be attending church.
I present these posts as something to invoke thought. Can we learn something from them?
Here’s a brief summary of suggestions they provide:
- To appeal to youth, be more interactive.This includes, being more social than informational and doing hands-on community service.
- Form relationships with universities (see UGLE’s University Scheme)
- Provide technological or online options (see CIVL)
- Use technology to move toward physical interaction
- Become more visible
- Focus on kids’ activities. We have DeMolay (boys 12-21) and Squires (boys 10-12), Rainbow Girls (girls 11-21) and Rainbow Pledges (girls age depends on group), and Job’s Daughters (10-20) and Jobie-To-Bees (girls age depends on group). Though there are these youth groups, we may be missing out on an opportunity by starting the youth activities later in age.
There are some very good suggestions here. Also check out The Masonic Roundtable episode 32.5 for some more helpful ideas and light.
There’s a lot we can be doing for our Fraternity, brothers. Remember, we get out of Freemasonry what we put into it.
Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth
“All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Diary