All organizations need a system of governance to preserve order, define and cast a vision, and provide accountability between the staff and stakeholders. In the LCMS we practice congregational polity, which means that each congregation is self-governed.
Our first responsibility is always to Christ. It is His church. At the same time, we believe that Christ empowers a local church to exist through the gathering of the priesthood of believers, what we recognize as the local congregation, the members of which form our Fellowship Assembly.