We Need the Dues Man...

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Luis Figueroa

If I had five dollars every time I heard this (We need the dues man...) I would be rich. Ever since joining the fraternity, this has been the front runner for an excuse to add warm bodies to some lodges. Hearing petitions being read, the click clack of the ballot balls, then POOF we have degree work. All in hopes of the candidate who will pay dues for the ensuing years to come. Being new, it made me wonder, "Is this how the fraternalism works?"

Why are some lodges successful and others not? So I did some simple research (Google) to find out what makes those lodges buzz with member activity. To my amazement it's the members, not the dues. Everything from barbecues, family bowling nights, movies, guest speakers and educational symposiums filled the calendars of some lodges, while some others were ghostly, save for the monthly meeting. (Boring)

So I started mining from other quarries, carrying those ideas of inspiration and fellowship with me. I sought brothers from within my own lodge and slowly but surely ideas and friendships were being cultivated and growing beyond our obligatory bond. How many brothers thought I would be another titular dues paying absentee member or have a transformative spirit, I will never know.

Now, well on my journey of seeking benevolent enlightenment, I am able to share my experiences with the brothers from whence I came. Casting new light and sharing the spirit of fraternalism which is what keeps brothers coming back to lodge.

I give thanks to all who saw in me, what I could not and who helped bring the better man and Mason that I am now and that I will continue to grow into.

Now every time a man truly prepared crosses the threshold of the lodge doors, ask your self, are you ready for your responsibility to pass the torch of enlightenment and cultivate his mind? Or, do you just need the dues man?


Bro. Luis Figueroa is a member of Rockford Lodge #102 of the Grand Lodge State of Illinois.


  1. Well said. I am asking myself how can I bring together some brothers to make lodge exciting.

  2. Another disconcerting thought is the lowering of standards to allow for increased membership. I've unfortunately seen it while helping other lodges out with degree work. People who, for whatever personal shortcoming save economic class, would have never became masons suddenly welcomed with open arms.

  3. @Jeremy, Think of what you would like to see in lodge and bring it up as a topic of discussion. Form a committee and make plans for an event or gathering.
    @Rob,we must look for the good in men's hearts and bring it out of them.

  4. Brothers, I believe that it is too late to stop the flow of men into the fraternity who are there for the fellowship and not for the knowledge. What we need to do is forget about the dues paying yet uneducated members and put our efforts toward the educable members. I started out by instituting an educational half hour before stated meetings. This gives about 20 minutes to delve into some Masonic thought or action and start some interest. It has worked well and attendance is good. Dinners, especially to honor Past Masters, OES members, local fire, police and ESM are well received. Fundraising dinners are good to get some brotherhood going. We must work with what we have available so it is to our advantage to find some interest for each of our members. This is not easy but it can be done.


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