Originally Posted by mmsig229
I think it's best to go through all the chairs, starting with being a steward. That's where you truly learn to serve the Brethren. Plus, once you're in the East, you'll have a good understanding of all the officer's duties.
I agree that everyone should go through all of the chairs, as you said.
But, being a member of two lodges and visiting many more, I see firsthand the problems that many lodges are having trying to fill the officer's chairs. When I was raised in '04, I was placed immediately in the SD chair because it had been filled by "whoever" for most of that year. (The man appointed to that position stopped showing up for whatever reason.) I served out the remainder of that year and was officially appointed to it the following year. From there, I went to the SW, because no one wanted that seat (thinking that they would be expected to go to the East next). From there, of course, I ended up in the East.
Getting others to accept chairs that year was like pulling teeth, and I have spoken with a lot of other Masters and Past Masters who say they had the same experience. Most agree that it is the newly raised Mason who has the zeal to want to help out by taking a chair. Even then, it seems that only one out of five new Masons are active, and fewer than that are active enough to be given an officer's post.
I don't know what the answer is, Brother. I only know that sometimes we have to fill the chairs with the best man who is WILLING to do the job.
My philosophy was "Put 'em to work as soon as they are raised. As long as they feel like they are needed and appreciated, they'll keep coming back".