The Masonic Mentor Program Committee should consist of:
At least one Past Master
Two well-informed Master Masons, (one of whom is the top signer of their petition)
The critical need for a Masonic Mentor Program in each and every Lodge can best be likened to our learning to swim.
Which is better?
A. Sign up for lessons at the local pool and learn by listening and watching the Swim Instructor show you via step-by-step instruction how to float, scull, and dogpaddle,
... then graduate to the butterfly stroke, low diving board and then the high dive,
...and once you are confident and feel proficient and good about your abilities,
... join swim team?
B. Simply have someone throw you into the river and see if you can instantly become proficient enough in learning your strokes to be able to get out by yourself before you drown?
Does your Lodge have an Education Officer and a Masonic Mentor Program? If you do not, take a moment and ask yourself some questions.
1. Does your lodge ever suffer from financial issues, member retention issues or do you often not enough members to open the lodge?
2. Ask your Lodge Secretary for some lodge statistics.
A. How many new members were initiated between 24 months previous to today's date and 12 months previous to today's date?
B. How many of those members attend lodge on a regular basis, today?
Masonic retention doesn't just "happen". It is the duty of the Master of the Lodge to fill any voids in the members' Masonic education.
Your Masonic Mentor Program is the key to Masonic retention. Masonic education is one of the most valuable assets that a lodge can possess.
Teach and be taught. Help and be helped. Share information.
If you have learned anything on this website, share it. Print an appropriate page from this website and hand it to a new member...be they an Entered Apprentice, a Fellow Craft or a newly raised Master Mason, give them a URL of a good place to study or a good Masonic study book.
Learning about Freemasonry's history, its symbolism and its spiritual light is necessary for their ongoing progress.
Lodge Members should also be encouraged to think about their new members and ask if they have any questions they might be able to help him with. Soon, the new member feels that he has attained the knowledge so that he, too, can become a valued member of the lodge.
Masonic Mentor Program
Each new candidate in your Lodge is the Lodge's future and every single member should have a vested interest in insuring that he remains interested and enthusiastic.
Each and every new candidate should, from his first degree onwards, be assigned a mentor to take them by the hand and guide them through the basics of our fraternity, answer his questions, teach him Masonic etiquette, Freemasonry's history and Freemason Symbols.
If your lodge does not have a Masonic Mentor Program Committee, consider beginning one. Lodges should get the candidate involved as soon as possible. Attempt to get the new member to participate in the degree work, assign him to a committee, or give him a simple responsibility.
Step-by-step instruction will give him a sense of belonging and the feeling that he has a purpose and he will soon want to attend Lodge meetings to assist in the work.
Simon-Sez: Both the initial success of the new member's quest for light and knowledge lie in the hands of the Masonic Mentor Program Committee.
Masonry's many facets of ritual, Lodge etiquette, Freemason Symbols, Operative history, Speculative history, Lodge history, etc. are not learned overnight and are practically impossible for a new member to grasp all at once.
Nourished gradually, the new member will, in all probability, wish to begin ascending the chairs.
Duties of the Masonic Mentor Program Committee:
Make him feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible and begin establishing a sound foundation of knowledge to the new member.
Masonic Obligation: (Very Important!)At your very first Masonic Mentor Program class, take the time to ask each candidate to explain how they, personally, interpret the meaning of their Masonic obligation in each degree; the Entered Apprentice degree, the Fellow Craft degree and the Master Mason degree.
You may be surprised at the answers you receive. The Masonic oaths which have come down to us through the centuries are somewhat "rigid" and the candidate may very easily have obtained a quite literal interpretation of them.
The candidate's journey should not begin with a "fear factor".
Masonic Degree Interpretation: After each student has explained their interpretation of each obligation, the Masonic Mentor Program Instructor should take the time to quell any fears or misinformation / misinterpretation and explain that the ancient oral penalties have been retained in our Masonic ritual to impress upon each Brother's mind how seriously a violation of the Oath will be regarded by members of the Fraternity.
The Masonic Obligation in each degree is voluntarily assumed and is used to impress upon the new Mason the solemnity and necessity of his faithful performance of them.
Feel free to click on the links, below and print any information you find that is helpful to you.
History of the Craft: Teach him the History of the Craft and its significance in today's world.
Famous Masons: Teach him about the famous Masons throughout history.
Lodge-Walk: Take him on a Lodge-Room Walk and explain both the layout and the symbolism of every single item of the lodge furnishings within the Lodge Room.
Lodge Library: Show him the Lodge Library and let him know that he can check out as many books as your Lodge allows out at any given time. Tell him that as a member of your lodge, the entire contents of the wealth of knowledge within every book on its shelves is at his disposal.
Lodge Participation: Lastly, print this page and ask your Master to read it and help you create higher Masonic retention by requesting that he ask each and every member of your lodge to always help all new members learn in any way they can...even if they are semi-new members, themselves.
Step-by-Step: Even if the new member has been raised to Master Mason, begin training him at the Entered Apprentice Level.
The Masonic Quizzes, below, each with 20 questions and answer sheets, were designed to make your job as a Masonic Mentor MUCH easier. Feel free to print as many copies as you need .for each of your new members