The Average Age of Lodge Members

They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
– Andy Warhol

monument, time waits for no man, angel, muse, broken pillar

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.

Freemasonry From the Edge
Freemasonry From the Edge

by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry

NOTE: The opinions expressed in this essay are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of any Grand Masonic jurisdiction or any other Masonic related body. As with all of my Masonic articles herein, please feel free to reuse them in Masonic publications or re-post them on Masonic web sites (except Florida). When doing so, please add the following:

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Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant who writes commentaries about the times we live in be it in the corporate world, the Masonic world, or our personal lives. His writings are well known on the Internet and are humorous, educational, and at times controversial. You won’t always agree with him, but Tim will definitely get you thinking.

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