ITC 24 In The Chair Masonic Podcast: Managing Freemasonry with David West (part 2)

On this episode of In The Chair I talk to David West, author of “Managing the Future of Freemasonry”, as well as books such as “Masonic Recruitment”. This is part 2 of the conversation, if you haven’t already please listen to part 1 first: www.masonicpodcast.com/23.

David is a member of St Laurence Lodge 5511 that is in the Province of Essex.

We pick up our conversation with the process of how people became monks in the Order of St Benedict where entrants were continually asked if they really wanted to join over the course of year, and how this meant that by the time they did join they knew what they were joining and committed to it, and to do it well.

One option we discuss is that should membership fees only be payable once a candidate has progressed to be a Master Mason, because it’s only then that he is truly a member and knows what he has joined.

We also discuss why it is important to explain what Freemasonry actually is to potential candidates, which leads us to another book by David: “Masonic Recruitment” which is an abridged version of “Things To Do When You Have Nothing To Do”.

This book covers things that Lodges can do in their meetings when they don’t have young members going through the Degree ceremonies. By making interesting evenings members enjoy themselves, have fun, and more likely to introduce new members. Members are unlikely to do this when they feel chastised for not introducing new members.

We tackle the “law of paradoxical intent” which means that the opposite of what is intended often holds true, and why that means we need to be thinking outside the box, ignoring the “rules” and “traditions”; and putting on nights that are different.

David also suggests further reading for those interested in this sort of thinking about Freemasonry.

“Taking Issue” by John Bizzack
“Observing the Craft” by Andrew Hammer
“Operative Freemasonry” by Kirk C White
“Reform Freemasonry” essays by Richard Graeter (website)
“The Goat, The Devil and the Freemason”, by David West

We go on to talk about charity in Freemasonry, and how Provinces need to ensure they are prominently seen to helping in their local communities, not just the large “headline” donations.

David also gives his thoughts on the type of people who should be the leaders in Freemasonry. They should be people who are willing to take calculated risks and embrace change; and have the management experience necessary. It’s likely that these people are already members.

Links from the show

“Managing The Future of Freemasonry” by David West
“Masonic Recruitment” by David West
“Things To Do When You Have Nothing To Do” by David West
David’s Website
Lewis Masonic Website
St Laurence Lodge, 5511
Kennet Lodge, 4414 (My Lodge) Website

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