Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
How about taking a little “self-awareness test”?
As we continue to decline in membership and in the number of Lodges in this Order, I thought it might be useful to develop this short, 20 question test. It’s apparent to me that there are Lodge members out there in the ether who actually do not know if their Lodge is or isn’t in danger of losing their charter because of declining membership. So, as a public service, I have developed this simple test – and all will be revealed. Think of it as the OUIJA Board of Lodge Futures. I ask you to be completely honest in your answers to this test. Remember, it’s a personal test. No one is going to see the results, or grade you. It’s just for you. The questions must all be answered either “yes” or “no”.
So, begin the test now:
1. Does your Lodge have more than 19 dues-paying members?
2. Does your Lodge typically have at least 10 members in attendance at your meetings?
3. Does your Lodge have at least two members who are younger than 40?
4. Does your Lodge have at least two members who are younger than 30?
5. Does your Lodge have any female members?
6. Does your Lodge have at least two members who are female?
7. Has your Lodge initiated at least one new member over the last two years?
8. Has your Lodge initiated at least one new member over the last year?
9. Does your Lodge’s Noble Grand typically serve for only one term?
10. Do more than two members run your Lodge?
11. At your typical Lodge meeting, is bickering among some members a rare event?
12. Does your Lodge sponsor and host at least one signature event for the community each year?
13. Did your Lodge send at least three press releases to your local newspaper over the past year?
14. If you were to ask the typical town resident “where is the Odd Fellows Lodge located”, would they know the answer?
15. Does your Lodge have a dinner or potluck or refreshments prior to your meetings?
16. Did your Lodge contribute to local community and charitable causes over the last year?
17. Does your Lodge produce a newsletter (either e-mail or hard copy) for the members?
18. Is the majority of your Lodge meeting time taken up by committee reports and new business?
19. Have you, personally, sponsored a new member who was initiated into your Lodge over the past two years?
20. Do you, personally, enjoy attending Lodge meetings?
That’s it! So, tally up the number of your answers that were “yes”.
If you had 18-20 “yes” answers, your Lodge is a superstar. I am confident that you are a member of a very well-rounded and successful Lodge that has a bright future. If you had 14-17 “yes” answers, then your Lodge has great potential, and with a little work can be considered a Lodge that will survive well into the 21st Century. If you had 10-13 “yes” answers, then you should be quite concerned about the future viability of your Lodge. Some quick corrective action must be taken, or your Lodge will wither. If you had 5-9 “yes” answers, I suggest that your Lodge is in trouble, and absent some significant turn-around, particularly in Lodge activity and new membership, will not survive another decade. And if you had 0-4 “yes” answers, then – sad to say – there is little hope for the survival of your Lodge. You are a member of a boring, do-nothing Lodge, that is slowly making the descent to a lack of quorum and loss of charter. You should start looking around for a nearby Lodge with which you can consolidate, if they will take you.
F – L – T