When I Grow Up
When I was in the fifth grade, we had a writing project where we were to list short-term and long-term goals for ourselves. It was, essentially, a more academic version of a "When I Grow Up" story. We were encouraged to be realistic... whatever that means for a room full of 10 & 11 year olds.
One of my long-term goals was to be a musician for a living. I don't know specifically how I phrased it. I don't know if I said I wanted to be a singer... or a famous performer... or a one-man-band complete with kazoo and knee-cymbals, but I know that I wanted to be a musician for a living... and I wrote that. When I received my paper back with my teacher's grade... I got that one "wrong" for not being realistic.
Now, please know I'm not slamming my teacher. As a 10/11 year old... I was hurt. I was frustrated. I questioned my skill, my value, my passion for music. I wondered about (and became very insecure about) what my teacher thought of me. However, reflecting on it, I doubt she meant any antagonism toward me. If anything, my teacher probably assumed she was doing me a favor. Putting my head on straight. Helping me not end up disappointed.
Worship/music ministry isn't all just playing music. There is far more to it. But if I really look at my job(s)... I play or sing pretty much everyday as part of my work responsibilities. I musically lead a couple hundred worship services a year. I teach private music lessons. I gig. I arrange music... and so on. Now, as a 5th grader, did I imagine being a "musician" for a living would look like this for me? Heavens no. God's calling on my life was still being groomed in me (... still is). So maybe that's what we should tell kids...
You can do or be anything you want... it just may not look like what you have in mind right now.