They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
– Andy Warhol
What is the average age of your Lodge members? Interestingly, very few Lodges take the time to calculate this figure which I consider to be a rather important indicator of the Lodge.
Fortunately, the average age of my Lodge has dropped to 64.1 years old. This is down from the high 60’s just a few years ago (we never did hit 70) and this is because we have been blessed with several fine young men who have joined our Lodge and replaced some of the “Greatest Generation” who we recently lost.
The “average age” number itself doesn’t tell us much. It is when we compare it to prior years and plot increases or decreases which tells us something about the Lodge. Whereas an increase means we are not getting much in the way of younger members, a decrease means just the opposite. This is also indicative of Lodge programming and public relations. Perhaps the reason why the average age is increasing is that the Lodge has become somewhat lethargic and set in its ways and is no longer regarded as a viable institution in the community.
Our current average age also tells me that “Baby Boomers” represent the lion’s share of members in our Lodge. This leads me to believe that the average age will inevitably rise again as this substantial generation (which includes yours truly) gets older and grayer. The only thing that can prevent this is a major influx of young members, but I do not see this happening anytime soon. I am certainly not suggesting we open the floodgates and allow anybody in with a pulse, but we should renew our efforts to reexamine our image and position the fraternity into something for younger people to seriously consider.
Thanks to modern medicine, we’re living a lot longer than our predecessors. It also means the Boomers will inevitably raise the average age of our Lodges over the next 10-20 years. As such, now is the time to take action to make our Lodges fun, interesting and meaningful. Surely we do not want to abandon our heritage, principles, or degrees, but we need to exercise our imagination and make Freemasonry more contemporary with the times.
If we don’t, it won’t be long before we’re sitting in a Lodge where the average age is 90 (and nobody will be able to make it up the stairs to the Lodge room).
Keep the Faith.
by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry
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Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.