Star of Africa Solomon’s candidate program: An Overview

My dear Brethren, it is my great pleasure to give you an insight into Star of Africa Solomon’s candidate program, which was developed based on the manuscript “Konzeption zur kontinuierlichen Mitgliederwerbung und –gewinnung für die Bruderschaft der Freimaurer” of our Brother Markus Schlegel et al. After two runs during the period 10/2018 to 10/2019, Star of Africa Solomon gained five new Brothers through the program. The third guest cycle started after the long dry spell during the pandemic in August 2022. As a result of the third guest cycle Brother Colin was initiated in February 2023.
Why does it make sense for a lodge to approach a conceptual candidate program instead of leaving membership development to chance? According to the above-mentioned manuscript of Markus Schlegel et al., a local Brotherhood with a typical average age loses about 20% of its members every 10 years (no demits included). In order to maintain or expand its membership base, it has to, not can, initiate new Brethren. How many per year? That depends on the size of the Lodge. Based on the manuscript of Markus Schlegel et al. a Lodge can apply the following weighting to calculate how many new members have to be admitted per year in order to maintain the number of members: Prospective members under 30 years of age receive a weighting of 1, under 40 years of age 0.75, under 50 years a value of 0.5 seems reasonable. Under 60, a value of 0.25 would remain.

So much for the theory. Now I come to the practice and take a look at the content of Star of Africa Solomon’s candidate program as well as its organizational planning.
A so-called guest cycle comprises six months: a workshop at the beginning, followed by four guest events and one non-masonic ceremony at the end. Topics of the guest events can be:

  1. Where do we come from and where is the spiritual foundation of our work?
  2. Thoughts about the importance of symbols in modern society
  3. Thoughts about the meaning of fraternity
  4. The way to become a freemason: Prerequisites for petitioners and final questions

The aim of the workshop at the beginning of each guest cycle is to directly involve the guests’ questions in the thematic design of the four following guest events. For this purpose, after a round of introductions, the Worshipful Master or appointed Brother gives a short 10-minute lecture on general key data and ideals of speculative Freemasonry as well as special features of his own Lodge. Afterwards the questions of the guests are asked and taken up under preservation of the masonic Arcanum. If they can be answered unambiguously, this will be done. If the questions take up a masonic deep complex, they will be collected and summarized to the four topics of the following guest meetings. Thus, not only do the guests get a comprehensive first impression of the Lodge and its Brethren at the workshop, and the Brethren get an equally comprehensive first impression of the guests, but the guests are taught from their very first visit to the Lodge that they are making a personal contribution to the success or failure of a guest cycle through their questions and participation in the conversations. After the workshop Brethren decide which guests will be invited to all subsequent guest events in the guest cycle. This creates clarity for the individual guest and allows Brethren to intensively observe the guests who are actually interested. The guest, who is accordingly designated as interested from the second guest event onward, naturally has the option of asking for the contact to be terminated at any time.

Time and place of the events must be planned well in advance. Invitations must be written sensibly and sent out in proper time. However, only the workshop is advertised because it opens the door to the other guest events of the respective guest cycle for suitable guests. If guests register during an ongoing guest cycle, they will consequently be invited to the workshop of the following guest cycle. The priority remains that a fixed circle of interested men and the local brotherhood get to know each other intensively during the 6-month guest cycle. After all, it is about nothing less than a life covenant.
The press report is next to the social media certainly the best way to address a broad group of men for the workshop. For this purpose, the secretary sends out a press release by E-Mail to the local editorials about three to four weeks before the workshop. At this time, the workshop should also be advertised in the special guest events section of the Lodge’s website. Not to be forgotten is especially the social medium Facebook, on which many Lodges already have an appearance, so Star of Africa Solomon too.

Star of Africa Solomon’s candidate program ensures that after six months, both the interested men and the local fraternity should have all the information they need to decide whether or not to apply for membership. Of course, the interested guest has the possibility to participate in the following guest cycle again, if he seems suitable. He has to be aware, however, that the new cycle restarts with the already known workshop.

VW Björn Zappe, DDGM District #6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Share with your friends

Follow by Email