Critical Failure: How Does a Lodge Decline to the Point of No Return

CriticalFailure_image_400x260px_Size4Someone raised an interesting question today. He asked if there was a particular number of members a lodge had to drop to, at which point the lodge starts a tailspin to failure, with almost no hope of return. That’s a tough question, and I don’t know if there’s so tidy of an answer to it. It’s no secret that membership in fraternal organizations began a steep decline in the Boomer generation. There were a lot of contributing socio-economic factors, but as the world spins on, things change and now these groups are rebuilding. I fully expect, however, that the destiny of healthy lodges will be smaller and more flexible, and many lodges, even those who have clawed their way through the 80s and 90s, are going to go away…

This post can be read in its entirety at its author’s Masonic blog, Stones n Bones. Click to read!

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3 thoughts on “Critical Failure: How Does a Lodge Decline to the Point of No Return

  1. Nice post. The thread on reddit has been nice and you bring up some great points.

    I think it all goes back to the idea of the worthwhile experience. If the experience in Lodge is worthwhile enough for a Brother to give up time that could be spent doing something else, he will return. it becomes incumbent upon the Lodge, then, to provide the worthwhile experience. Often, that means a dedicated core that is willing to both listen and act.

  2. As the master of a lodge that is down to 8-10 active members out of 50, we have thought several times we were in a tail spin. But thanks to good leadership, new ideas, and new and innovative programs, introduced by the core group, some of our inactive members are coming back, our EAs, and FCs that stopped are coming back, and we get a lot of visitation by other lodges, and in return we visit their lodges. We may be small (and lack a building of our own), but we are strong.

  3. Really great post. The way you stated your thoughts resonates with me. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head!

    I think sometimes it’s hard for those that keep a high enthusiasm to understand brothers who’ve been laboring so long and are experiencing burnout. I think this the opportunity where one may approach the brother and have an open and honest conversation without the pushy “get over it” attitude. With a little bit of grace and understanding we can communicate our appreciation for each other while allowing one the space to work through their current state of mind.

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