Andrew Herzberg knew when he was in seventh or eighth grade he wanted to be a pastor when he grew up. He remembers a New Year’s Eve youth group gathering and a feeling he can’t quite explain that God was pushing him in that direction.

There were some detours along the way. Like many college students, Herzberg questioned the direction he’d chosen for his life. He wasn’t sure he wanted to give up control of his life the way a Lutheran pastor sometimes must.

He never looked far for another career opportunity, though. He abandoned plans to attend seminary school and instead went into church music.

“I went from being in front to being in the church balcony, and it was more comfortable in the balcony,” said Herzberg, who became pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church on July 13.

The balcony wasn’t where he was supposed to be, though, so five years ago Herzberg moved with his wife and his newborn daughter to Fort Wayne, Ind., so he could attend seminary school. On Saturday the family - now expanded by two additional children - officially made the move back to Minnesota.

Herzberg grew up with a strong connection to his church in Des Moines, Iowa. His father was the general contractor for the church’s remodeling project, and Herzberg remembers tagging along and building things from the scraps of wood that were left over. He was involved in youth groups and other church activities.

He sees a similar kind of community at Trinity. Herzberg lived with one of the church elders for three weeks while he and his wife looked for a house, and church members provided his meals just about every night. He hurt his back just a few days before the rest of his family joined him, but he never had to worry there wouldn’t be enough helping hands for the move. Church members showed up. So did their friends and family, many of whom were not members of the church themselves.

It was as warm a welcome as Herzberg could have hoped for.

“I don’t think I lifted more than two boxes, because I got yelled at so bad,” he said.

The Trinity position is Herzberg’s first as a pastor, and he is jumping right in. He was at a church kickball game on Sunday, and he’s getting to know the members of the church as quickly as he can. He’s discovering all of the groups that meet at the church, and the things they do.

“I think I’ve probably spent more time on the phone the last 3 ½ weeks than I have in my entire life,” he said. “It’s interesting trying to get a handle on all of the things that go on.”

That’s part of the job Herzberg enjoys, though. He likes talking to people. He particularly likes visiting the church’s shut-ins. They’re often eager to have someone to talk to, he said.

Herzeberg is also making plans for the future. He wants to find new ways to connect the church to the community and to get involved.

It’s where he knew he’d end up. Even if he didn’t take the direct route to get here.