I just read the latest posting by RW Tom Hendrickson (SGW of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota) in his blog All Things Masonic. In his article, he enumerated five things to consider when mentoring new candidates:
1. To Mentor is to instill in the new Brother a sense of purpose and to help them develop their Masonic identity.
2. The Entered Apprentice stands before you and may be thinking; "Here I am ...I am a rough Ashlar in need of improvement. Place your working tools in my hand and teach me their uses.
3. Coaching is teaching what a new Brother needs to know to be proficient. That’s pretty cut and dry. What we really need to do is support and nurture him and help him achieve his goals in Masonry.
4. Adding a new member to your lodge also adds to your circle of Friends.
5. Our teaching as Mentors will live beyond our lives. Our Mentoring is our gift to our lodge and to the Craft. It becomes our legacy.
Item number four (4) caught my attention and caused me to ponder whether ALL brethren are my friends? Do I truly enjoy being in the company of ALL Masons and would I consider expanding my circle of friendship to include them?
We are taught that Freemasonry is “a sacred band or society of friends and brothers”. Each of us is charged to befriend and relieve every Brother who shall need our assistance, to remind him in the most friendly manner of his fault, to endeavor to aid his reformation, and to defend his character.
During my travels through Masonry I have met brethren who are more than mere acquaintances and are fast becoming lifelong friends. These are men whose company I enjoy and who I call Brother. There are others, even within my own lodge, who I barely know, who I have not taken the time to become acquainted with, and to learn what made them seek out Masonry. This is an evident flaw in my character, and one through which continued study of Freemasonry and the assistance of my brethren, I hope to correct.
All Masons have shared in a common experience that binds us at a level which is greater than any filial, professional, or sacred bond. All Masons are my Brother and they should also be my friend.