We all remember that first day walking into the Lodge room. Little did we know that this space would change us, teach us, and set us on a journey of discovery. It is a place we would come to call home. However, this welcoming feeling we have towards our local Lodge is one that took time to develop and was only cultivated through the warmth we received from our Brothers when stepping through the door. It can be hard for those of us Lodge room veterans to remember what it was like on that first day and how it feels to be newly raised. For a moment, we ask you to put yourself back into the shoes of a new Brother and think about the ways in which your fellow Masons brought you in.
Below, we have compiled a list of helpful tips and tricks to welcome a new Brother and make them feel right at home. With this, we hope to encourage recruitment as well as retention and set each new Brother on a path to enlightenment.
During events and meeting nights, finding people to eat with can be anxiety-ridden to those that do not know anyone. As a long time Mason, it should be your first priority to not only leave a few spots open at your table, but to scan the room for new faces and ask those that do not know anyone to sit next to you. Once seated, really try to get to know him. Ask about his family, occupation, and reasons for joining the fraternity. This type of conversation is sure create the vessel for friendship.
Introducing to friends
Once you have met a new or potential member, introduce them to your group of friends and fellow Brothers! Before a meeting, create connections between Brothers and a new member by finding a common interest among the group. Did you hear him mention how much he enjoyed watching the Masters? Introduce him to Mark, who once met Arnold Palmer and loves to spend time on the course. Acting as a liaison between different types of members puts you in the position of getting to know everyone and becoming a necessary link.
It is important for new members to feel as though their growth and learning in Lodge is being fostered. Afterall, the learning and development is most likely the reason why they joined in the first place! Create an environment that helps with this by setting up mini study sessions or mentorship meetings. Choose a topic to cover during each 30 minute session and pair new and old members with each other to study together. This type of peer-to-peer learning is a great way to make lasting bonds and truly take in the information.
OUT OF LODGE
Phone calls and Messages
Creating bonds with new members outside of Lodge is just as important as inside. Once meeting a new member, ask for their phone number or email. Keep in touch with them between meetings by calling them to ask how they are doing or sending them interesting Masonic articles via email. Our blog page has some great resources to spark the interest of a new member for you to guide them to. Fostering communication when Lodge is not in session will help to keep a Mason inspired as well as help them to feel like they are connected to their Brothers.
Live close to a new Brother? Ask them if they would like to carpool to Lodge night with you! This will ensure their presence and also put any nerves they might have at ease knowing that they are going into a meeting with support.
As a newly raised Mason, the influx of information can be overwhelming at first. To help guide a new member, it is always a good idea to provide useful resources such as books, articles, websites, and blogs that teach them as well as fuel their newfound passion. Is there a Masonic book that inspired you years ago? Share your story and the resources with a new Mason so that they feel like they are not alone in the process. Recently read an interesting blog article about one of the degrees? Send a quick note to the newly raised class of Masons, letting them know that you are thinking of them and looking out for their best interests.
There is nothing like a good meal or fun outing to grow a friendship! Activities outside of Lodge are important when creating a strong Brotherhood and also helps individuals get to know each other and each other’s families more personally. Plan a dinner with significant others, schedule a Brotherhood golf outing, or host a family movie night to start things off in a fun way.
Have additional tips for welcoming a new Brother? Send them to us at OhioLodgeLife@Freemason.com