How can we ensure that we make the experience of being a new member of the Mark and Royal Ark Mariner degree a happy one and ensure that we retain members?
When a Brother decides to become a Mark Master Mason, or Royal Ark Mariner, he does so on the expectation that his experiences will be positive and that he will continue the Masonic journey in the best possible way.
As Mark Master Masons and Royal Ark Mariners, it is our responsibility to ensure that this happens and that there is a clear pathway for development and progress as a valued member of the Lodge.
Statistics show that we lose more Brethren within the first three years after joining a Lodge, and clearly we have a challenge to make their introduction as informative and positive as we can.
There needs to be a defined programme of progression within the Lodge, but we need to be mindful that we balance their progress with their personal needs and with the needs of the Lodge. We need to make sure that Brethren are comfortable with the progression that’s on offer.
We should also be in a position to outline the best possible route for progression without putting any unnecessary pressure on them. Support is key and we all have a responsibility to make their Masonic journey the best we possibly can.
So how can we make this happen?
Brethren, we and our newly Advanced and Elevated Brethren are the key ingredients to the future of our Lodges. By drawing on our experiences, we can encourage and support new Brethren to engage positively and in time they too can become an integral part of the Lodge and the future custodians.
By promoting the social side of the Lodge with family events, and by encouraging Brethren to attend rehearsals and to visit other Lodges, we begin to build up a picture of how they can become a valued member of the Lodge.
What can we do next?
· At your Officers meetings, discuss how you can develop a Roadmap for future members and move the protocol forward.
· Identify who will be the key Officers to take responsibility and to drive the process forward.
· Agree and share the strategy. Ensure all of the Lodge Members are on board with the process.
· Monitor and report back at your Officers meetings on progress.
· Promote discussion and share your strategy with other Lodges when you are visiting.
· Advise the Provincial Membership Officer of your progress and share best working practices.
The success of our Order and the future of our Lodges depends upon each and every one of us. Let’s all ensure that our newly Advanced and Elevated Brethren are given the best introduction and ongoing support that we can offer them in Mark and RAM Masonry.
W Bro Paul Alan Yarnell PGJD RAMGR
Deputy Provincial Grand Master Worcestershire MMM & RAM