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Jason is the founder of Ignite Student Ministries, a dynamic ministry igniting youth, young adults and university students to passionately pursue Christ and transform society in high schools, work places and universities around the world.

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If You’re Going to Dream, Dream BIG

Jason VanaJason Vana

I started Monday’s post with a simple statement: I’m a dreamer.

I need to correct myself.

You see, I don’t want you thinking that I’m an average dreamer – wanting just a good job, nice house with the white picket fence and the standard American 2.5 kids (really, what is .5 of a kid??). I don’t lay awake at night dreaming about seeing Ignite reach 100 students at Monmouth College, or seeing a few university students in Opava, Czech Republic come to know Christ. I don’t want just a few small ministry groups at a handful of colleges, or a marketing business that only brings in a few hundred a month, or an average family.

I don’t have average dreams.
I dream BIG.

I want to see Ignite grow to thousands of universities in hundreds of countries around the world. I want to see millions of young people – both high school and college aged – empowered to fulfill their potential in Christ. I long for the day when we see Ignite Beijing, Ignite Praha, Ignite Sydney, Ignite Moscow, Ignite…well, you get the point. I want to see Ignite groups started at high schools, in businesses (hey, young adults need Jesus, too). I want to open retreat centers, ministry training centers, local community centers, even orphanages around the world. I want Ignite to be hosting at least 12 mission trips each year (once we’re in multiple countries that is). I even have my eye on a building in Monmouth right now that would be great as a free drinking-alternative hang out for college students, along with providing us office space, a coffee shop, and a place to host larger worship services.

I haven’t even mentioned the churches I want to see Ignite help start, the ministries I want to see birthed in the hearts of my students, or some other dreams that I’m keeping close to my heart right now. I don’t want people to unintentionally try to tell me it’s too big.

As I said, I dream BIG.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… – Ephesians 3:20

I have this crazy idea that if I can think it, if I can dream it, if I can ask God to do it…He can do more.

Will I all the dreams I have for Ignite come to pass? Maybe.
Will every dream, every hope I have for impacting the world happen? I hope so.
Will I be alive to see it all? Probably not.

And I’m ok with that, because it’s bigger than me.

I believe if you’re going to dream, dream big.

Too often I’ve heard people limit their dreams. They start something – whether a church or a ministry or a band or business, hobby, family, book – and immediately put limitations on it:

  • “If our Sunday service reaches 50 people, I’ll be happy”
  • “I know I will never sell a million copies of this book, but that’s okay”
  • “As long as my kids never do drugs or get pregnant outside of marriage, I’ve done my job”
  • “I know this band will never sign a record deal, but that’s cool”

We limit our dreams, we put boundaries around what we want to accomplish, we reach for the clouds instead of the stars…and say we’re just being realistic.

Maybe those limitations are right. Maybe the church you start will never reach over 50 people. Maybe your book won’t be on the New York Time’s Bestseller List, maybe your band never will sign a record deal…

But if you can’t even imagine that happening, if you can’t even dream bigger than mediocre, if you don’t even have it in you to ask God for the big things…they will never happen.

So if you’re going to dream, dream BIG. You may never accomplish all your dreams, but at least you were willing to shoot for the stars…and maybe, just maybe, you made it over the clouds and reached beyond your limitations.

Jason is the founder of Ignite Student Ministries, a dynamic ministry igniting youth, young adults and university students to passionately pursue Christ and transform society in high schools, work places and universities around the world.

Comments 16
  • Dustin
    Posted on

    Dustin Dustin

    Reply Author

    Something I want to remember is that no dream is too big for God. I tend to be really calculated, risk-averse, and practical, so my thought-process tends to be “Let me dream something that is achievable, then I’ll be able to see results.” Yikes…. I realize at those times I am putting God in a box.

    Enjoyed your post, Jason.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      I can be the same way a lot of times, Dustin. I am a planner through and through – I want to know the steps, risks and rewards before I take a step. Not helpful when you want to dream big.


  • Brandon
    Posted on

    Brandon Brandon

    Reply Author

    Yay! I can finally comment here…(haven’t been able to for awhile because of the glitch I was telling you about). Anyway, great post.

    I have a quote of the week coming out next week that goes right along with this. It says, “Shoot for the moon, but if you miss, you will be among the stars”


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      Glad to see you back Brandon! And I love that quote.


  • arnyslight
    Posted on

    arnyslight arnyslight

    Reply Author

    “We limit our dreams, we put boundaries around what we want to accomplish, we reach for the clouds instead of the stars…and say we’re just being realistic.”

    I love this Jason…

    As we say in the Spanish culture…”Veta grande Julio!”…it means “go big Julio!”…
    It’s a saying we all say…

    Say it with me…”Vete Grande Julio”…


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      I love that saying! And it’s something we all need to be reminded of. It’s incredibly easy to settle for mediocre. Sometimes we all need a kick in the pants to get us thinking big again.


  • Kristinherdy
    Posted on

    Kristinherdy Kristinherdy

    Reply Author

    I may have quoted Reinhold Niebuhr to you already (I tend to do that), but he said something I take with me: Nothing worth doing can be achieved in a lifetime, therefore, we must be saved by hope.

    Our dreams should be like those of Abraham – reaching so far into the future that we won’t be able to see their end. He had the substance of things hoped for — and God richly blessed him.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      I love that – and totally agree. If our dreams are something we can accomplish in this lifetime, they aren’t big enough. Thanks for sharing Kristin!


  • Moe
    Posted on

    Moe Moe

    Reply Author

    I think when we fail to dream big, we are already putting limitations in our “dreaming”.

    I like to dream this way: If there were no limits, what would you do? My God is way bigger than any limits or any obstacles. Let’s give Him a chance to work in those “impossible” dreams.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      “I THINK WHEN WE FAIL TO DREAM BIG, WE ARE ALREADY PUTTING LIMITATIONS IN OUR “DREAMING”. ”

      Great point, Moe – and so true!


  • K.C. Procter
    Posted on

    K.C. Procter K.C. Procter

    Reply Author

    Go BIG or go home. 🙂
    Shoot for the stars and you’ll hit the moon.

    Great encouragement. Thank you, Jason.


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      “Go BIG or go home.”

      Pretty much sums it up right there!


  • Jake
    Posted on

    Jake Jake

    Reply Author

    Leave it on the field is what I’m hearing. Big dreams take a lot of effort, but then again, why else dream if we’re not looking to DO something, right? I say go for it and know what? I love that you’re announcing it because you never know who’s reading and who can help. I love this. I want to reach millions with my words someday. I want to write books that have people sitting up, moving over to the edge of their seats and then DOING something. I want to inspire relationships with God and push people toward Jesus (and away from religion- such a dirty word).

    I’ll be praying for ya!!


    • Jason Vana
      Posted on

      Jason Vana Jason Vana

      Reply Author

      I’ll be praying for you as well Jake! If your blog posts are any kind of preview, I’m sure your books will do just what you’re hoping they will!


  • Ryan Tate
    Posted on

    Ryan Tate Ryan Tate

    Reply Author

    I love that Ephesians passage. Great post Jason! Dream big!


  • seekingpastor
    Posted on

    seekingpastor seekingpastor

    Reply Author

    Go big or go home. Good words, man. Many of my dreams have been too small in the past. Working on that now.