The LWF has 143 member churches in 79 countries all over the world. Together these churches represent over 70 million Christians.
Churches that wish to join the LWF must formally accept the Federation’s doctrinal basis as detailed in Article II of the LWF Constitution. Further requirements for membership and application are outlined in the LWF Constitution and Bylaws.
Applications for membership are decided on by the Assembly or, between meetings of the Assembly, by the Council. Applications for LWF membership are processed in close consultation with Department for Mission and Development regional secretaries. The appropriate area secretary normally visits the applicant church to learn more about its ministry and relationships with member churches in the region.
Members may resign. The Assembly, upon the recommendation of the Council, may suspend or terminate membership.
Associate Member Churches
The LWF may also recognize as eligible to take part in its work, associate member churches that accept the same doctrinal basis as full members. Associate member churches can participate in all LWF activities. Their representatives at Assembly meetings have the right to speak but can neither vote nor hold elective office.
Recognized Churches, Councils and Congregations
The LWF may also recognize as eligible to take part in its work, recognized churches, councils and congregations that accept the same doctrinal basis as full and associate member churches. Recognized churches, councils and congregations may participate in all LWF activities but only have observer status at Assembly meetings.