Districts & Fellowships
Districts & Fellowships
About Districts and Fellowships
LCMC has two types of districts: Geographic and Non-Geographic. Geographic Districts are based on physical location, often a state or region. Non-Geographic Districts are organized around a shared theological or missional commitment.
All districts in LCMC:
- Have officers and leadership team/board/council
- Have operating by-laws
- Are encouraged to plan and implement regular events open to LCMC and non-LCMC participants: text studies, meetings, women’s group, youth events, mission festivals, etc.
- Are authorized to receive funds, make payments, have bank accounts
- Are a named legal entities
- Must have LCMC district insurance
Fellowships are less formal than districts. They may be organized geographically, around a shared interest, or to work on a shared project.
Fellowships in LCMC:
- Have their meetings/events sponsored by an LCMC congregation
- May have a coordinator/point of contact who is unpaid
- Have any liabilities covered by hosting congregations
- Do not receive funds
- Are not named legal entities
Forming a District
Resources: District Subscription Form
Forming a district within LCMC is not a complicated process. The list below covers some steps to take and things to think about when forming a new district.
- Draft a constitution and any by-laws your group finds necessary to define the district and the interaction of its members. The constitution and by-laws may be in detail, or much may be left to future imagination. Remember, any rules you set for yourselves in your governing documents will need to be adhered to. Several sample district constitutions and by-laws are available.
- It is recommended that the district be incorporated according to the legal requirements within the state in which it will be headquartered, and that it file for 501c(3) status. It often takes as much as 18 months to secure 501c(3) status. In the short run, it may be possible for one of the member churches to meet those requirements otherwise met by having 501c(3) status. Districts cannot operate under the 501c(3) status of LCMC.
- LCMC has developed a process for reception of pastors called “Certification.” While districts do not have an independent role in certification of pastors, they can be helpful partners in the process, including participating in certification interviews. Districts cannot have ministry standards that are less than the standards of LCMC, but they can have additional standards. It would be helpful for districts to use a term other than “certification” for any additional expectations they ask of clergy.
- Only LCMC congregations can be members of an LCMC district. If your group includes congregations that are not members of LCMC you may wish to consider either creating “associate membership” status or forming as a fellowship rather than a district.
- Start doing church the way you believe it should be done. There is broad freedom in LCMC to carry out the work of the church in ways that are creative and contextually appropriate.
Some thoughts to help in your process: For better or worse, a constitution reflects the wisdom of the founders of the organization and is designed for the ages. When writing constitutions, err on the side of flexibility. By-laws are different in that they can usually be changed much more easily. Put broad philosophy into constitutions, specific organizational detail into by-laws.