Worthy Shepherd:
Retention Chair of Brother Knights

We are Catholic Gentlemen whom have sworn Oaths to God, our Pope, Bishops, Priests and Religious to remain the Strong Right Arm of Holy Mother Church. We acclaim our Fealty to Her, we seek though the Power of the Rosary and Prayer the strength to remain true and loyal Sons. Listed below is the outstanding four-page Retention Letter circulated by Bro. Joe Trechter, Former Chairman of Membership Retention. I cannot improve on its clarity and steadfastly support each and every point. I intend however to focus on the last point he made and will outline a step-by-step approach to make it work with outstanding results for the Glory of God, Holy Mother Church and each and every Council in our Beloved Order.

“Remember, personal contact is the key. Every Knight, regardless of the circumstances, deserves the dignity and consideration afforded by our Order, faith, Christian Charity and belief in the Holy Catholic Church. It is important that every member feel NEEDED, IMPORTANT, INVOLVED and a CONTRIBUITING MEMBER of our organization. Through our united efforts to retain current members as well as recruiting new ones, we will keep our Order Strong and Growing.“

The Foundation of our Catholic Faith is rooted in the Holy Scriptures. We seek its clarity when we are uncertain. I draw your attention to Luke 15: 3 -7 (the parable of the lost sheep) and to John 10: 1-17, Mathew 9: 36, Mark 6: 34 in which Jesus explains His role as Shepherd. In John 21: 15 – 17, Jesus transfers the care of his flock to Peter the Founder and Corner Stone of Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. So if we Brother Knights are to also be Apostles like Peter, we must be willing to be Worthy Shepherds who WORK to keep our Brother Knights in the Order. In this way these Brothers can continue to truly be part of the right arm of Holy Mother Church, the Knights of Columbus.

We need Worthy Shepherds to preserve our Membership and seek our Brothers that have lost their way. How many Past Grand Knights wonder, “What is my future in the Council?” They may say, ”I have held all the Officer Duties, I have made my contribution, I have a Legacy that I am proud of, and my work is done.” I humbly suggest their work is not done and will never be done. There is always more that can be done to assure the success of our Order. Past leaders are more needed than ever before. Perhaps they could be appointed Retention Chairman. We need over 600 dedicated Worthy Shepherds (Retention Chairs) and we need them to begin working immediately. Remember, as in the Gospels of old, when the Shepherd left the flock to seek the lost sheep, He left his Flock in the care of his trusted Apostles. Let us ask our Past Grand Knights to continue their leadership by diligently fulfilling the role of Worthy Shepherd.

Use the Power of Ten:

1. Appoint a Worthy Shepherd /“Retention Program Chairman” and treat him with the respect of any Officer of your Council. This Worthy Shepherd should not be the Financial Secretary or the Membership Program Chairman.
2. Have the newly appointed Worthy Shepherd form a Shepherd Committee with one committeeman(Apostle) for every ten members of the Council. These can be Knights who hold other offices or duties but should not include the Financial Secretary or Membership Chairman who have their own important duties, which must be their primary focus.
3. The Worthy Shepherd and his Apostles should meet with “ALL” of the Council Members with a focus on those members who have not attended at least one meeting in the prior three months. They will call the member and make an appointment to stop by for coffee or a simple visit “in person”. If they cannot be reached by phone to make the appointment, the committeeman will drive to the last known address. Knock on the door and ask to be allowed in and pray the Rosary or have coffee and hear what is going on with the Brother. (Emails and letters will follow later but this first meeting must be in person.)
4. The Worthy Shepherd will prepare a simple report for the Council about each and every member. Our goal is to have a personal meeting with 100% of our members prior to the State Convention. Yes Gentlemen, we should start immediately and meet with 100% of our members focusing on those that have not been at the past three meetings. Once you know the status of the Brothers that have not been in attendance, an action plan can be worked out for each and every member. Ask your Pastor to help find them or get the State Office and Field Agents to help find them. Send your list of the names of your “Lost Brothers,” each Brother’s last known address, last known phone number(s), & membership number to our Researcher, Eric Watson at ericwats@sbcglobal.net so we can help you find your “Lost Brothers.” We must work in Unity to not suspend them, but to find ways to help them.
5. You could plan a special event (Pasta night at the Parish Hall or Pancake Breakfast to welcome our Brothers Back) and use the proceeds to help forgive past dues of those that truly are in financial need. Find out ways to help them meet their Expectations as Brother Knights. Celebrate their return, feast, praise God and allow them the precious benefits of being members of the Greatest Fraternity of the Most Blessed Church God has placed on this earth.

Weekly Conservation Report

This year my committeemen and I will monitor the Weekly Conservation Report that lists Brothers who are being dropped by their Councils. A State Committeeman will contact the Chapter Presidents, District Deputies, and Grand Knights of the Councils that are processing the drops.

These leaders will be asked the following questions:
1. Is there a Worthy Shepherd/Apostle Committee for the Council?
2. Was every Brother to be dropped personally contacted by phone or in person?
3. When was the call made? By whom?
4. Did the Worthy Shepherd or Apostle use the Shepherd’s Challenges and Solutions script when making the call? (You will find this script at the end of the Retention section below.)
5. What was the reason that the Brother chose to be dropped?
6. Was the DD or a State Committeeman asked to follow up on those Brothers who chose to be dropped BEFORE the form 1845 was filed?
7. Was the Brother offered a chance to hand write a message of resignation so that he could retain his years of service when he files for readmission?

Brothers, if we follow Jesus’ example as the Good Shepherd, we must do all in our power to keep our “Lost Brothers” in our Order.

Membership Retention Incentives

Worthy Shepherds Team Incentive $1,000
* All Councils that earn the Worthy Shepherds Award divide prize money equally (minimum $50 per Council)
* Awarded at your 2019 Chapter Installation of Officers Ceremonies

Worthy Shepherd Award
1. Council makes personal contact with 100% of members during each Columbian Year
2. Council has NO drops during the Columbian Year OR
3. Council achieves its membership goal after drops

Try to attain at least… “One Worthy Shepherd Award*, Per Chapter, Per Year”

Bullet Point Summary of the Worthy Shepherd’s Program
• Worthy Shepherd = Retention Chair
* Shepherd’s Committee – one Brother (called an Apostle) for every ten Brothers in the Council
* Each Apostle is assigned ten Brothers to contact
– Contact each Brother in person (by phone, or home visit)
– Goal = 100% of Members contacted each Columbian Year
* Visit with him – Be A Brother
* Knock on his door to visit if you cannot meet him at church
* Pray with him
* Invite him to volunteer at an upcoming Council activity or event

May God Bless you for meeting these Challenges and please share the stories of your success and difficulties so we can elevate the Title of “Worthy Shepherd” to the Status that Jesus Intended and the Apostles have taught us.

TW Starkweather
State Membership & Council Retention Chairman