At the Grand Master's Conference we attended, the message was essentially "Back to Basics." Doing the esoteric work correctly, and doing a more thorough job of investigating candidates. When Texas masons became more public about fifteen years ago, lodges were attempting to survive by getting more men in the door, More Masons, more dues. We have found this was short term thinking.
Many brethren also feel that the raising of dues and degree fees keep potential masons away and burden some current members. Do we really need men who are not financially sound. I remember being told "to await the time with patience" . If a candidate is unable to do this is he really for us. The goal is not more members, but members who have the fortitude to meet all the requirements and remain among us. We should be careful to permit none to pass unless they are duly qualified. This will help over the long term.
We are ahead of the curve when it comes to a more intensive investigation. We make sure to get a man who has family support by visiting his home. The answers to the questions on the petition can also show stability or lack of it. The recommenders on the petition should also be able to give a "good Report". If we are to take good men and make them better, we need to insure they they are "good men". Your lodge will benefit in the long run.