Constitution Approval and Updates

Congregations become members of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod only after their constitutions and bylaws have been approved by the district constitution committee.

Likewise, please note that changes to existing constitutions and bylaws of member congregations are also to be reviewed by the district constitution committee and are considered to be in effect only after they have been approved by a district constitution committee.

The following guidelines are available to assist you:

Guidelines for the Constitution and Bylaws of a Lutheran Congregation

Guidelines for Constitutions and Bylaws of Small and Developing Lutheran Congregations

Also available is a sample template constitution and sample template bylaws for newly forming congregations. These may serve as a boilerplate for mission starts. All that is needed is to fill in the highlighted areas with the required information.

To help expedite the review process, the district constitution committee requests that congregations also work through this Constitution & Bylaws Checklist and return the completed checklist along with their entire Constitution & Bylaws in electronic format to the Chair of the Texas District Constitution Committee, Rev. Craig Schinnerer’s at However, only those congregations that are creating new constitutions and bylaws or making extensive changes to existing documents are required to submit the checklist. Please be sure you provide your name and phone number as well as the church name, physical mailing address, and city location (if different) in the body of the email.

Note: Newly forming congregations should also see Steps in Forming a Congregation in the LCMS.  This is information concerning membership and eligibility and admission of congregations into the Synod.