S. Kenneth Baril
THE UNIQUE ROLE OF WORSHIPFUL MASTER OF A LODGE
The concept of leadership is rarely challenged in the abstract, but the conditions in which leadership can operate may sometimes deteriorate. Where it is rejected, the leadership of a lodge must either disappear or degenerate into autocratic control. In most lodges, either alternative will have unfortunate or even catastrophic consequences.
The demise of leadership signifies the victory of forces incapable of, or uninterested in, considering the best interests of the lodge as a whole. It is the quality of Masonic education that fall victim to the loss of leadership and the ascendancy of narrow views.
The Master of a lodge is one of the most crucial and perhaps the most difficult positions in our fraternity. The occupant of this position, more than any other person in the lodge, influences the shape of Masonry. Thus, he has a basic role in determining what will become of the newly raised brothers and through them what his community will become.
It is of major importance that the job of Master be done well. The office has many functions, but all are focused on a single goal; to promote the tenets of Freemasonry throughout our communities. This means he must create the conditions in which the officers and members can perform this task to the best of their ability. The Master is a leader in the true sense, for he must be expert in bringing out the best in his lodge and in his members.
If there were a few jobs more difficult than Master of a lodge, there are also few which offer the opportunity for more significant achievement. A competent Master is a teacher, philosopher, student of life, public relations counselor and businessman. All these aspects are involved in his central role of leadership.
For a Master of a lodge, the exhilaration of his work is in the constant pursuit of a vital objective; the best Masonic education possible for every member. He is grateful for the unique opportunity which his position affords for constant learning about his fellow man.
He is glad to participate in bringing about the ‘esprit de corps’ in his officers, members and the community. Most of all, he recognizes the unique opportunity that the Master offers for contributing to his community. He knows that his position is at least as significant for the future of his fellow man as any in the gift of the members.
A lodge which does not understand, desire, and support effective leadership is unlikely to find it.
The Master can fulfill his leadership responsibility only by searching for teamwork and general agreement. A master is a stimulator and a cooperator, not a commander!
Written by S. Kenneth Baril (Date Unknown)