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 the context of the church shooting in Texas.

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


2018 Tax Reform

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump will undoubtedly impact nearly every individual and business taxpayer on an historical level not seen in over 30 years.

Most provisions were made effective starting in 2018. Many of the changes to the Internal Revenue Code are temporary, calling for them to expire at the end of 2025. This decision was made in order to keep the bill within budgetary parameters, but with no guarantees that a future Congress would extend them.

The following list highlights changes of interest to religious employers and employees.

  • No deduction for personal exemptions

  • No deduction for unreimbursed employee business expenses formerly deductible as a miscellaneous itemized deductions and subject to the 2% AGI floor

  • Above-the-line deduction for certain teacher expenses limited to $500

  • Standard deduction significantly increased and indexed for inflation (blind and elderly deductions were retained)

  • No income exclusion or tax deduction for job-related moves

  • Lowering of tax rates and changes to associated income tables

  • Tax-advantaged 529 savings plans expanded to include tuition for grades K-12

The Synod is unable to provide legal or tax counseling services, so please consult with competent professionals in your geographic area if you have any questions related to your specific facts and circumstances.


2018 Estimated Taxes Worksheet

A worksheet has been designed to help ministers estimate their 2018 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


2018 IRS Mileage Rates

Effective on Jan. 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service has increased the standard business mileage rate to 54.5 cents per mile (from 53.5 cents in effect since Jan. 1, 2017).

The standard medical mileage rate has increased to 18 cents per mile (from 17 cents).

All moving expenses, including mileage, are no longer excludible from income or tax deductible.

These new rates apply to mileage reimbursements paid to an employee on or after Jan. 1, 2018 with respect to transportation expenses paid or incurred by the employee on or after Jan. 1, 2018.

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

 

Taxes and Ministers — A resource on tax issues for ordained and commissioned ministers.

Congregational Treasurer’s Manual — The Congregational Treasurer’s Manual provides information on various aspects of the duties of congregational treasurer.

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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.

Employment Resource Manual — Provided to assist congregations and districts of the Synod understand and apply good sound employment principles.

Sample Performance Appraisal Worksheets — Contains guidelines for conducting the review; employee self-appraisal section; supervisor’s appraisal section; and summary of evaluation.


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 lcmsjobs@lcms.org if you have questions.

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Join us on the journey

Lutherans Engage the World

Lutheran Engage the WorldEngaging the Church in the work of witness and mercy across the globe in our life together.

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The Lutheran Witness

The Lutheran WitnessInterpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective

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Concordia Publishing House

Concordia Publishing House