Congregational Manual 2022

Church and School Administration

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


Informational resources are available to guide Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregations and workers in managing church and school operations.

Active Shooter Response Plans

The LCMS Church Information Center has received inquiries regarding plans for responding to active shooters in a church setting.

The LCMS Security Officer has provided the following online resources:

The Synod recommends that congregations work with their local law enforcement to put a plan into place that works for the congregation and for the local agency.

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Constitution and Bylaws

The Congregational Constitution and Bylaws Guidelines provide resources for congregations to develop such documents.

Read guidelines

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Financial Matters


Manual for Congregational Treasurers

The Congregational Treasurer's Manual provides provide accurate and authoritative information on the duties of congregational treasurer. It is written for every treasurer, no matter what the level of expertise, and is organized into two volumes, containing six major sections: Employment Issues, Federal and State Tax Matters, Establishing and Administering the Organization, Supporting Organizations, Accounting and Finance and Insurance.


Need Tax Help?

Contact Pam Palmer, Director Tax & Compliance, at or 314-996-1441.


2024 IRS mileage rates

Effective on Jan. 1, 2024, the IRS increased the standard business mileage rate to 67¢ per mile (from 65.5¢ in effect since 1/1/2023). The standard medical mileage rate decreased from 22¢ per mile to 21¢. The rates apply to mileage reimbursements paid to an employee on or after Jan.1, 2024, with respect to transportation expenses paid or incurred by the employee on or after Jan. 1, 2024.

The rate used for charitable deduction purposes, set by statute rather than IRS, remains at 14¢ per mile.

Estimated taxes worksheet

A worksheet has been designed to help ministers estimate their income and self-employment taxes — not to calculate their actual tax.

Compensation of a minister earned in the exercise of the ministry is excluded from mandatory federal income tax withholding. Ministers should either pay quarterly installments of their “estimated” tax or mutually agree with their employer on voluntary withholding.

Download worksheet

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Legal Resources

As our churches and schools come under increased scrutiny, the LCMS is dedicated to helping pastors, church workers, church administrators, lay leaders and others learn how to better protect their church or school from potential legal challenges.

View Legal Resources

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Marriage Policies for Congregations

“Information on Marriage Policies for Member Congregations” contains information on the Synod’s beliefs concerning marriage and a sample marriage policy for congregations. The document also contains sample provisions limiting the use of church property to marriages that are consistent with our beliefs.

Download Marriage Policies Information

Supporting documents:

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Personnel Matters

  • Overtime regulations webinar — Webinar provides information regarding the impact of new overtime regulations on districts, congregations, schools and other religious organizations.

New Form I-9

Effective on May 1, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers must use Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees. Religious organizations are not exempt from this mandate. Even newly employed ministers must complete this form at hire.

USCIS made minor changes to the form and its instructions. The newer version of the form with a date of “Rev. 10/21/2019” was made available for use beginning Jan. 31, 2020. The prior version of Form I-9 (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) will be obsolete effective April 30, 2020. The version date is located in the bottom corner of the form.

Employers do not need to complete the new Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/2019) for current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9 on file, unless reverification applies. Unnecessary verification may violate the INA's anti-discrimination provision.

For more information, the public can contact the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 or visit USCIS' I-9 Central web page.

Job descriptions

Suggested position descriptions for a variety of staff and officer positions. The following documents contain job descriptions for each category.

Call documents

For information on accessing call documents, please contact your district office.

Concordia Plan Services

Learn about your benefits as an employee in an LCMS congregation. Please email the LCMS Human Resources department at if you have questions.

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Mission and Vision

Seven Mission Priorities

The Lutheran Witness Magazine

Lutheran Witness February 2024

MDFL Resource Center

Making Disciples for Life - Resource Center

Million Dollar Life Match

Ready to expland your congrgation's pro-life ministry? Apply now for the Million Dollar Life Match.

Church Work Recruitment Initiative

Set Apart to Serve

Caring for Ukraine

Ukraine Support

Contact Us

  Email us

  Church Info Center: 888-843-5267
  Staff Switchboard: 800-248-1930
  Donor Care Line: 888-930-4438

 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7226


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Auxiliaries and Seminaries




The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Inc., including Mission Central (in Mapleton, Iowa), is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

A contribution designated (restricted) for a specific purpose, when accepted, will be used only to fund expenses related to that purpose. Occasionally, we may receive more in contributions for a particular purpose than can be wisely applied to it in the foreseeable future or the purpose may cease to be feasible. In these situations, the LCMS will make reasonable attempts to contact contributors to apply their contribution toward another aspect of ministry that aligns closely the contributor’s goals and values. If a contributor cannot be contacted, the LCMS will use the gift to meet a similar pressing need that most closely matches the contributor's original intent.

Consistent with Synod Board policy and in recognition of a more challenging economic and philanthropic/fundraising environment due to inflationary pressure, not more than 13.5 percent of any charitable contribution will be allocated to administering gifts and communicating with contributors. Contributions received and accepted by the LCMS are deemed to be in agreement with this statement.

Donor Transparency Resources

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