Natale Joins Seminary Staff

Rev. Mike Natale speaking at morning chapel at Lutheran Brethren Seminary.
My name is Mike Natale. I’m 38 years old and have been married to my wife, Lindsay, for 14 years. I grew up in New Jersey and began attending Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church (Succasunna, NJ) and working at Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center (Mt. Bethel, PA) when I was in high school. As I prepared to graduate, I could already feel the pull into ministry. I knew I wanted to attend seminary, but I also had a great love for music. I melded those two loves together and received my undergraduate degree in music from Penn State and, a year after graduating I got married and moved out to Fergus Falls, Minnesota to attend the Lutheran Brethren Seminary (LBS). I graduated from Seminary in 2012 and accepted the pastoral call to Messiah Lutheran Church in Underwood, Minnesota, where I served as pastor for two years. I then accepted a call to Faith Chapel: A Church of the Lutheran Brethren, in Cranston, Rhode Island, where I have been serving as pastor since, going on almost ten years now.
Mike and Lindsay Natale
While serving at Faith I was approached by Dr. David Veum, the President of LBS at the time, and was asked if I wanted to be part of the Ministry Call Mentors. He shared with me that this position would involve calling and getting to know prospective seminarians in the CLB Eastern Region. I jumped at this opportunity and looked forward to connecting with the people whose names were provided to me, while also attempting to network and get to know others in our Region who might potentially be interested in seminary.

Looking back on my life, I’m absolutely amazed how the Lord has used me to further his Kingdom. I love what it says in Psalm 37:23-24, “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” I’m humbled to be taking this next step, and eager to see what he has in store for me in this new position.

This May I will begin my new role at LBS as the Director of Student Life and Associate of Recruitment. This position will give me the opportunity to connect with both on-site and distance students coming into or currently studying at LBS. I love connecting with people and figuring out ways I can be a support to them moving forward. I also really enjoy bringing people together in community around similar passions, hobbies, and enjoyments. I’m looking forward to spending time with the students and their families to find out ways I can encourage and assist them throughout their time here at LBS.

I’m also excited that my role will involve assisting Dr. Tysdal (LBS president) with recruitment. The memories I’ve made, the education I’ve received, and the connections I’ve formed while attending LBS have had a huge impact on my life and have crafted my ministry to the local congregation. I have now been blessed with a tremendous opportunity to passionately share my experiences with others in hopes that they too will consider attending LBS one day.

LBS is the training ground for future pastors, missionaries, and ministry leaders. These individuals will be going out from this place proclaiming the gospel and sharing the knowledge they have gleaned from LBS. I’m honored that I’ve been called to be part of that initial process.

As I pray about the impacts my role as Student Life Director can have on our greater Church body, I keep coming back to Lamentations 3:22-23, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” I want to regularly point students to the faithfulness of God in hopes that they will take that truth into whatever future ministry opportunities the Lord has planned for them. This will permeate throughout their ministry and naturally produce disciples in the people around them.

As I pray about recruitment, Jesus’ words in Matthew 9:37-38 echo throughout my mind, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Our need to train up new pastors and ministry leaders is great, and I pray that the Lord will use my role to reach those individuals.

At this current junction there is a lot of change going on around me. We packed up, closed on a house, loved and said goodbye to our church family here at Faith, and just finished moving ourselves to Fergus Falls. This transition can be stressful and difficult (in a number of different ways), but we worship a consistent God who sees the other side of where we currently find ourselves. I take great peace in knowing and sharing this truth! As we move (no pun intended) through this process I am constantly reminding myself of Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As we embark on this new season of life, your prayers would be greatly appreciated. Please pray for energy, peace, and a humility to ask for help when needed for both Lindsay and me. Pray for Faith Chapel as we say our goodbyes and as they begin the search for their new pastor. Pray for the many relational opportunities I’ll be privileged to have while at LBS, and pray that the Lord will use this new position to his glory!
Rev. Mike Natale begins serving as Director of Student Life and Associate of Recruitment, as well as Pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church, Underwood, Minnesota in May, 2024.

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