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

2021 IRS mileage rates

Changing on Jan. 1, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service has changed the standard business mileage rate to 56¢ per mile (from 57.5¢ in effect since Jan. 1, 2020).

The standard medical and moving mileage rate has changd to 16¢ per mile (from 17¢). These new rates apply to mileage reimbursements paid to an employee on or after Jan. 1, 2021, with respect to transportation expenses paid or incurred by the employee on or after Jan. 1, 2021.

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

New overtime rules for 2020

On Sept. 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule that beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, workers who earn less than $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker ) are eligible for overtime pay.

This announcement came as the 29th printing of the LCMS Congregational Treasurer’s Manual was already in progress.

Please disregard the lesser published amounts of $679 and $35,308, respectively, found in Section 7.334 of the manual.

2021 estimated taxes worksheet

A worksheet has been designed to help ministers estimate their 2021 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

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The Lutheran Witness Magazine

The Lutheran Witness Magazine

Making Disciples for Life

Making Disciples for Life - Resource Center

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National Youth Gathering

Church Work Recruitment Initiative

Set Apart to Serve

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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 the joyful response and generosity of God’s people over the past fiscal year, not more than 10.5 percent of any charitable contribution will be allocated to administering gifts and communicating with contributors (compared to a not-more-than ceiling of 13.5 percent the previous fiscal year). Contributions received and accepted by the LCMS are deemed to be in agreement with this statement.

Our Tax Identification Number: 43-0658188

View Donor Transparency Resources

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