Ok everyone repeat after me, "No man takes a step in Freemasonry alone." Say it again. Come on louder! Like you mean it! LET ME SEE YOUR WAR FACE! Sorry, I got carried away. Now, what does that mean? The saying, not being carried away. It's simple, oh so simple. From the point where a man says,"I need to talk to a Mason about this Mason thing.", he is not left alone in his steps. He is guided, step by step, and only by taking our time and doing it right, do we see the wisdom in this action.
A man comes to your lodge and says, "I want to be a mason." I encourage you NOT to throw a petition in his face. Take the time necessary to get to know him and his life. In fact, two or three brothers should take somewhere between 6 months to 2 years (whatever your Grand Lodge says to do on the petition ironically) to get to know your potential candidate. "But Brother Doc, he might leave if we don't push him through." Well then brothers, who's to say that he would actually come to lodge then? Besides, we are Masons, our word is our bond, so don't start the potential brother off on the wrong foot by lying on his petition. Please don't get him started off wrong by pushing it through either. I know, I know, Grand Lodges are freaking out about numbers and attendance and this reason alone should be the basis of you vetting potential brethren more thoroughly. Besides that, how will this potential brother get work and receive instruction if you don't know where his passions are to give him work? Ok step one, get to know the potential brother, check. Step two, get to know his family as well. Don't leave that poor man to try and explain Freemasonry to his family all by himself, he has no idea what Freemasonry is....in fact, I still don't know all of what Freemasonry is, so don't send me in alone either! Invite the family to functions and events. If you don't know what you can and can't tell families, and there are things you can tell them I assure you, go back and read my Mentoring piece. In fact, Brother Johnson, can you link that piece right HERE ?
Once the allotted time has passed and he still wants to join you crazy kids, oh and you all still want him to become a brother, then have him fill out the petition. Once he has filled it out and way before you initiate him, assign him a mentor. Do not wait, you will miss valuable opportunities for him to grow, even before he is voted on. What's the worst thing that happens? He doesn't join but is a better person for the expierence?
No Mason Left Behind is not just some cute catch phrase that Brother Robert Johnson branded me with, it is a creed all Brethren should live by. No matter what you do, no one takes a step in Freemasonry alone!