Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lodge as Lab Part 2: The Mentor Program

Well, to toot my Lodge's horn, I looked at the newest edition of the Minnesota Mason. The Minnesota Mason is our bimonthly Masonic paper and is a wonderfully put together publication. On the last page, there is a list of all the Master Masons raised in Minnesota. Corinthian Lodge No.67 had raised 10 Master Masons last year. What's even better is that we were one of eight lodges to accomplish raising ten or more Master Masons out of the 101 lodges that raised at least one brother last year.

As Worshipful Master, I really wanted to provide two goals, 1.) improve our programs by trying new things and 2.) utilize the Grand Lodge of Minnesota Mentor program. But as I have explained before, it isn't the Master that gets the job done, it's the Craft and I can safely say that the officers' corps and new brothers really raised the bar last year.

To go into some background, Corinthian Lodge No. 67 is a smaller lodge in a small town 45 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. Even with how far away we are from downtown Minneapolis, we have seen growth in membership. Why? We started focusing on our members, from the 60 year member to the newest Master Mason.

Bro. Wayne was instrumental as our membership/mentoring coordinator. Every lodge has a Lodge Education Officer but few have a Mentoring Coordinator. This job is as critical to maintain interest in the Craft as the LEO. Now I know that this statement is rather bold but here is why he is essential. The LEO is for the betterment of the Craft but what of the individual Mason? We need to make sure that the new Master Mason receive a helping hand from those already Masons. He needs a link to the lodge, a friend that can guide him not merely through degrees but also through life.

I am a product of mentoring. My mentor is one of the wise men I have ever known, a man that represents everything right in being a Mason. W.Bro. Don is one of my heroes as a man and as a Mason. The guidance he showed me not merely in the ritual but in life itself had made me the leader that I was during my term. I was proud to have him as my installing marshal and when he placed the square on my neck, I saw it as a passing of the square from one Master to another. To sum up, mentoring works.

The Grand Lodge has a great mentoring program that I have mentioned in previous posts. However, I cannot overstate just how important I found the mentor program. We now have an engaged Craft that is ready to do the work. Mentoring is an experiment that was truly successful. Bravo to my mother lodge, we did it.

If you want to look at the mentoring program for the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, visit their website.


Raconteur said...

Braden's mentoring coordinator wants each candidate to have a different mentor for each degree. The idea is to give them a wider exposure to their lodge brothers and hopefully prevent cliques from forming, or a new mason leaving if his mentor leaves for some reason.

What do you think of that approach?

Millennial Freemason said...

As long as you have enough brothers jumping in, I believe that might work. Bro. Wayne and myself went to great lengths to find mentors that shared an interest with the brother they mentored. The goal was to give them a connection to the lodge by an interest outside of the lodge. If the man was a Marine, we would pair him with one of our Marines. If he was into computers, his mentor was one of our computer guys. If your mentoring program is successful, then the approach was correct.