With annual Lodge Inspections in Ohio over and the majority of Lodges anticipating “going dark” for July and August, sometimes there is a tendency to sit back and relax a bit.
I’ve heard many times a phrase directed at Worshipful Masters,
“Once your inspection is over it’s all downhill.”
Well, I could write a book just on that statement alone, describing in great detail how terribly sad that statement is. If you planned your lodge year centered around your inspection, then you did a poor job of planning and your lodge suffered because of it.
But if you planned well, your lodge shouldn’t be going downhill but continuing. Continuing to offer a great Lodge experience and continually engaging lodge brothers to fulfill what they need from Masonry and their Lodge.
So, if I am the Sr. Warden of my Lodge right now (this is Ohio specific, our lodge officers change after Grand Lodge in October), here is what I would be doing.
I would be in intense planning mode with my goal to present a proposed term plan at the 1st meeting in September, revise it, present again in October, revise it if necessary, and then the final plan in November. Here is what that process looks like:
Here are a few specifics on the major areas
Term Plan– this would include a list of lodge events, each with its own plan detailing the specifics of what it is, who is in charge, when and how it will happen, and a budget. Your term plan will include a proposed lodge calendar with lodge dates, as well as, district and grand lodge events, community events, holidays and religious celebrations.
Budget – Using the budgets created for each lodge event, begin building an overall lodge budget. You will need to include all sources of revenue and expense for the lodge. Use last year’s financial statements and budgets as a base, and then adjust for anticipated changes. Typical income sources are dues, investment income, donations to the lodge, fund raising, and possibly rental income. Lodge expense can be grouped generally into these expense categories: administration, fraternal programs, building occupancy, grand lodge per capita and any other grand lodge or masonic district expense.
Education – Lodge education encompasses the mentoring of candidates, lodge officer and leadership training, as well as, general education for all the Brethren of the lodge. You should rely heavily on your Lodge Education Officer to prepare and present a proposed lodge education program to include in your overall planning.
People – You should be reaching out to your lodge brothers seeking volunteers to head up projects, chair necessary committees, and soliciting ideas. Identify candidates for officer appointments, as well as, assessing the current officers and their ability to progress to the next office.
Prior to presenting the proposed plan to the lodge in September, you should hold one or more meetings with the officers to exchange ideas, review planning, and review input. You will be relying on these men to help execute the plan, their involvement and buy-in is absolutely necessary.
So, this is the time if were Senior Warden of my lodge, that I would be working the hardest. Have more questions? Need help? You can contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org