Mentoring is, without a doubt, the reason that I have been so excited about being a Freemason. Whether it was learning ritual or helping out in a service project, it was my brothers around me that have kept me interested and focused on being a better man and a better Mason.
When I first started down the path of Masonry, I had a guide to help me. Don is a great Past Master who gave me the kind of encouragement that I needed to be serious and excited about my new path into Masonry. We would spend hours at his house, learning the memorization, absorbing the lessons that Masonry teaches and becoming involved in the Lodge. Don kept me focused even when I was busy with my first year at Law School. Now I am Junior Warden in my Lodge and am more excited about Masonry every time I am at Lodge.
I am fortunate to come from a Lodge and a Grand Lodge that believes in the idea of encouraging the newest Masons to get up and support their community and their Lodge. Why? Well there are two main reasons:
1. It keeps brothers active
2. It makes them feel like they are a part of the Lodge.
When the brothers are engaged and want to participate in Lodge activities, the Lodge improves. Also, it is the hope that the brother that feels engaged in the Lodge will bring in his friends. When a brother brings in his friends, the Fraternity grows and becomes better for it. The idea of the Lodge is "to make good men better" and if we as Lodge can show that we are relevant, I hear on the message boards and other blogs that we should "guard the West Gate" as if those that preach this idea are unblemished.
A new and very interesting experiment that I am trying is taking our newest Master Mason and having him work with our newest initiate. The idea is to get that momentum that a new brother brings and capture that energy. This bottled lightning is what gives our Fraternity its glow, its desire to give to our communities.
For more information, I would look to MWB Neddermeyer's Cinosam who has a great series of slides and powerpoints on the subject of Mentoring and how a Lodge should put a program together. Mentoring is the key to success in get brothers to feel that they belong in the Lodge. Let's make it happen!