Grand Secretary’s Message

FROM THE DESK OF THE GRAND SECRETARY

MASONIC LEADERSHIP

Leadership can be defined in many ways.  Some view it in the military sense—-issuing orders in a way that the troops are willing to following to follow the leader without hesitation while at the same time keeping morale high.  Others look at leadership from a business perspective—-keeping employees happy while maintaining productivity.

A Lodge is neither a military unit nor a business enterprise.  It has a touch of the military in that the Master of a Lodge is the absolute authority, but the Master can’t or shouldn’t treat his brethren as if he were a drill sergeant.  Likewise, a Lodge has an element of business—-it must run efficiently and productively or the brethren are confused and unhappy.

The first element of Leadership in a Masonic Lodge is recognition that the members are volunteers.  Even though they come of their own freewill and accord, they can also leave of their freewill and accord.

The second element is motivation.  Leaders, in the military or in business, succeed because they are able to motivate people.  They spend a considerable portion of their efforts trying to reach out to build esprit de corps and enthusiasm.  This is not so different from the Lodge room.  Our initiatory degrees probably build a better foundation to motivate men then any yet invented.

The third element is the “Masonic“Leader.  I submit that the Masonic Leader is every member of the Lodge.  Without him there is no Lodge.  Remember, the brother is a volunteer.  If this volunteer brother is not motivated, he can have no enthusiasm for the fraternity.  It is the individual Master Mason that makes a Lodge successful.  It is the individual that practices Masonry.  It is the individual enthusiasm that reflects the teachings and principles of the fraternity.

Two examples:  (Among many)

1) What if the highly motivated, enthusiastic brother says to the Master of the Lodge?

‘Worshipful Master, I know we have some brothers that haven’t paid their dues, would it be improper for me and a couple of others to see if we can’t turn them around?”  Some would say that we can’t do this because it usurps the Masters job.   REALLY???

2) What if the highly motivated, enthusiastic brother says to the Junior Warden, “Brother Junior Warden, I’m getting a little tired of pie and ice cream, would it be alright to bring something else for refreshment next week?”  (Some would say “But who’s going to pay for it”?)  REALLY???

THINK ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES PEOPLE.  THINK ABOUT WHAT MOTIVATES MASTER MASONS.

IF YOU THINK HARD ENOUGH, YOU MIGHT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LODGE.

William R. French, P.G.M.
Grand Secretary

 

 

 

FROM THE DESK OF THE GRAND SECRETARY

      Have you ever been asked, “What is the purpose of your Masonic Lodge”? Tough to answer , isn’t it? The real answer is, “To make Master Masons”. It goes much deeper than that. It is a short answer, but a long process. The ingredients are plans to assure that a new Mason grows in Masonry. Making a Mason is much more than the Degrees. We always hear, “We take good men and make them better or you only get out of this what you put in” . Both are true, however; does that new Mason (or for that matter our older members) really know how to improve themselves in Masonry? Remember the adage, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do”? Once the Degree is over, how much contact do you have with that new Mason? Think about it, does he know what to do? If he is lucky, he has a good coach who will point him in the right direction and will make sure he will improve in Masonic knowledge. Providing Masonic education at every meeting is but one step in a new Mason’s life. Don’t think it must be someone giving a talk about Masonry. This is excellent, but it can be done anywhere: dinners, picnics, traveling to other Lodges, discussion groups, or outside speakers, just to name a few. Be spontaneous, open your Law Book to any page, pick a paragraph, read it to your Lodge and ask, “What do you think of that”? You will be pleasantly surprised at the discussion that will follow.

     There are so many avenues open to the Lodge and especially to the Master. Expectations are a must. Expect your members to attend. Expect Masonic education to happen. Expect your Ritual to be good. Expect your Lodge to prosper. Each of these take some planning. I wrote this, not to give you something to do, but to challenge you to begin to improve your Lodge. It is hard work . Can we stand idly by and not do these things? The rewards will be beyond your expectations if you are patient. So, make this your moment. Get your planning group together, be creative, be willing to go beyond the humdrum meeting and make it such that every member will be anxious to attend the next meeting.

     We tend to think that everything is the responsibility of the Master. The truth is, he is in charge, however, every member shares this responsibility. You may not think of yourself as a Lodge leader, but you are. Ask the Master what you can do. If you do nothing more than to set the example for that new Mason, you provided a path for him to improve. So, when your Master asks, do it. Remember, when you, that new Mason, and your existing members are involved, your Lodge is strengthened and it will prosper .

William R. French, P.G.M.
Grand Secretary

FROM THE DESK OF THE GRAND SECRETARY

      Today we live in a world where a permanent indiscretion only takes a fleeting moment. Have you placed something on Youtube, tweeted or shared a thought through a post on Face book and wished you had not? Even if we don’t say something we regret, there is an issue of image both personal and Masonic. Masonic post should only contain things proper to be written. Once something is put publicly on the internet, there is always a digital presence of which can not be taken back nor deleted. This reason could be why some of us want nothing to do with social media. But. can we ignore it? It is said that the main form of communication today is social media. So, should your Lodge have a website or social media presence?  Your members don’t use it you say, that’s fine, but most every person considering the Craft does and several times a day. Brethren in every corner of our Grand Jurisdiction are actively using social media each and every day. We are realizing that this is the case just from the number of requests for information we digitally receive. Social media could be the primary place of discovery for those who seek light. It has taken me a very long time to embrace at least a portion of social media and how it is used. Yes we are confronted with the choice of embracing and witnessing these new com­munication tools, but they are not the total answer for masonry. These coupled with personal contact an Education Program and most of all a good plan to improve your Lodge, makes success possible. Back to these new tools, what you post and the way you communicate is a reflection both upon the Craft and yourself. As it is said, and I’ll paraphrase, “you never know who is listening, reading or watching”. It is very easy to disrespect another opinion from the keyboard. A previous Grand Master set the standard for using social media. On line and off, we are charged in all regards to be upright, never forgetting that we are Freemasons. What we say and experience should impress the mind and not disrespect others opinions. What if anything should you post on social media? Make it a clear and conscious decision. Whatever tools you use, use them well and with wisdom. Remember you represent yourself and the craft.

William  R. French P.G.M,
Grand Secretary

Many thanks to Brother Kenneth Stuczynski for his thoughts and words of wisdom.