So we return to the question: do we need to reform Freemasonry so that it can once again attract young men actively seeking an organization that offers something to believe in? Hopefully, by now the answer is clear: No. What we need to reform is not Freemasonry but how we govern Freemasonry. Again, with a clearly articulated core ideology, Grand Lodge leadership becomes an exercise of aligning strategies, tactics, policies, operating practices, cultural norms, processes, structures, and methods with Freemasonry’s core purpose and core values.[1] The key learning is that to maintain alignment, we must continuously adapt how we govern Freemasonry, and remain willing to adapt our noncore practices to a constantly changing environment. We must always preserve our core, but in so doing, we must never fail to also stimulate progress.[2] Freemasonry can succeed in the 21st Century, with enlightened and open-minded grand lodge officers leading the way, focused on serving their lodges and members, so that together, we can better serve the needs of today’s young men.

Please look for my next work, Governing the Craft, which will explore how grand lodges can help lead Freemasonry to renewed vigor in the coming years.

  1. Collins, 202  ↩
  2. Collins, 82  ↩

Next Sectton: Afterword