Your membership committee has changed its focus and will now be published each month on our Grand Encampment website, with ideas that might be used by the Grand Commandery and its constituent Commanderies to improve our lingering membership. Each month we will bring to you new ideas that might assist the local bodies in growing new members, improve participation, and retaining the members that we current have. It is usually easier to retain members than to recruit new members. We have too many NPD's and Demits. The ideas that we will bring to you may work for your Commandery or may not, but we need to try.
Personal involvement and commitment are minimum requirements for a successful membership process. A knowledgeable sales organization is equally important to insure that we are getting good results. We use the word "sales" because it perfectly describes our tasks at hand, selling membership in an organization whose prime mission is the "Support and Defense of the Christian Religion". No other organization unites all denominations of Christians together for this common cause. Knowledgeable Knights make enthusiastic and successful salesmen because they know the quality of the product and the benefits of ownership. A Knight who is well versed in all aspects of Templary must also "walk the talk" if he expects to be a convincing salesman.
As we move into the 21st Century, the Grand Encampment Membership Committee is redoubling its efforts to train and encourage Knights Templar leadership at all levels to implement the plan and the processes necessary for success. Individual leadership, commitment and accountability are keys to an effective program; but the real key is YOU! Membership recruiting and retention cannot be delegated to committees, or the sole responsibility of the leadership. We must live by the motto, "If it is to be, it's up to me".
As Knights Templar, we have one foe that we must collectively vanquish, and that is apathy. The membership program of the Grand Encampment is an action program designed to perpetuate our organization and it will succeed if all members do their part. We read in Chapter 28 of the Book of Matthew where Jesus commissioned his disciples to "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost". Your Grand Encampment Membership Committee would paraphrase this commission by asking every Knight Templar to, "Go ye therefore and teach all Christian Masons, encouraging them to unite under the banner of Templary". Our Grand Master puts it more eloquently, "Every Christian Mason Should be a Knight Templar"!
We cannot wish away our declining membership; we must be individually accountable for growing our business. Don't wait for somebody else to do what you can do now.
What can you do to improve on this serious problem of growing membership. This will be further discussed in future articles but basically, each Grand Commandery should develop a Membership Committee and with their guidance develop a committee in each of the constituent Commanderies. If the Eminent Commander and his dias officers do not buy into the program, membership will continue to linger. This committee could be formed by the number two man or a designated member of each of the bodies locally. Remember, membership is the job of everyone not just the Commander. A lodge representative program can also be established locally, to insure that the York Rite Body is represented in every Blue Lodge. Have a petition in your pocket, and know when the next festival is scheduled. Remember, we must get them in the Chapter first then the Council (where required) and the Commandery.
Many different subjects will be discussed in the future, and if there are any questions, please contact a committeeman.