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YOU WANT TO BE A
LODGE OFFICER, EH?

by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
timb001@phmainstreet.com
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
"A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry"

"There is more to running a Masonic Lodge than just remembering your catechism"
Bryce's Law

So you have been asked to sit as a Steward or some other appointed office in the Lodge. Before you say yes, there are a few things you should know. First, there is really no such thing as a trivial office in a Masonic Lodge. But there is more to it than dressing up in a tuxedo and marching around in the Lodge room, there are certain duties and responsibilities associated with each chair which you will be expected to perform. In other words, there is more to being a Masonic officer than pomp and circumstance, you will be expected to work. If you are agreeing to become an officer simply as an excuse to buy a tux or to have some sort of Masonic title, than you are getting into it for the wrong reasons. Lodges need working officers, not facade.

More importantly, understand that becoming a Lodge officer requires considerable commitment. It means attending additional meetings, classes, workshops, and more memorization work. Further, once you are in the chairs (aka "in line") it will be expected that you stay in the rotation until you have become Worshipful Master, and this can take as long as seven years depending on where you enter the line. Although I am not necessarily a fan of our custom of rotating through the chairs, I do concede each chair teaches us a different set of responsibilities and skills. (As far as I am concerned, the Senior Deacon is the best seat in the house). If you are willing to accept the commitment and have something to offer the Lodge, great. If not, forget it.

Too often I see smaller lodges, who are desperate to fill chairs, raise new Brothers and immediately appoint them as officers (sometimes on the same night). The newbies are, of course, flattered and accept the position without question. Only later do they realize the commitment expected of them and balk at advancing through the line. Yes, we need to get our newly raised Brothers active in the Lodge, but this should not include putting them in the officers line right away. Instead, they should be allowed to sit on the sidelines, observe what is going on, then allow them to make a conscious decision to go into the line. By going in with both eyes wide open, they are more likely to accept the commitment required to properly serve as a Lodge officer.

I am most definitely not poo-pooing becoming a Lodge officer. Masonry teaches us a lot of lessons in life, becoming a Lodge officer kicks it up a notch and teaches us some basic management and people skills which are invaluable in both our personal and professional development. I just believe people should know what they are getting into, and are getting into it for the right reasons. For example, there are those shallow individuals who are only interested in having a Masonic title, and accomplish nothing for the Lodge. It chafes me when I see a "puppet" Worshipful Master who is led by his officers as opposed to the other way around. If they are only interested in chasing a Past Master's apron, I say let's give them the apron and get them the heck out of the way.

Keep the Faith.

Article reprinted with permission of the author and "FreeMason Information"



EPILOGUE:

For a free 45 minute multimedia presentation on basic management skills which will help you as a Lodge officer (as well as your business), see the "Bryce's Crash Course in Management"

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS

The presentation is just under 45 minutes in length (44:30) and is implemented using streaming technology requiring the use of the popular RealPlayer. If you do not already have RealPlayer, you can obtain a free copy by going to the company's download area.

FOR BEST RESULTS: Use Version 10 (or higher) of RealPlayer. Also, this presentation is best suited for broadband users (DSL/Cable).

This course is presented in English.

To start the multimedia presentation, click the audio icon below:



For The Written Version

Of "Bryce's Crash Course In Management" (in PDF format)

Please Click HERE.

If you don't have Adobe Reader, you can download a free copy at, http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html



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