During a recent School Leaders Revival Chat, we had the privilege of hosting Bernie Ooley, one of BSSM’s founding staff members and Bible teachers. Bernie shared her journey of nurturing a dream of starting a school and her desire to live an Ephesians 3:20 reality: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (NJKV)
Today, we wanted to share some highlights from Bernie’s story of carrying a dream in her heart about a school in Redding. May her testimony bless and encourage you as you continue to partner with God in the fulfillment of your own dreams!
After completing a year at Rhema Bible College, Bernie felt a call to start a school of supernatural ministry in Redding, CA. Like many school leaders, she began to dream for the future, imagining all that God would do in and through a ministry school.
In a sudden turn of events, Bernie began working at Bethel Church. This put her in a position to eventually work with Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton, whom God had also been speaking to about starting a school that would equip a generation to love God and expand the kingdom. In His perfect timing, Bernie was able to help launch Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM).
While sharing her history with BSSM, Bernie shared three key points to stewarding dreams that our team feels are applicable to school leaders in every season:
1. Treasure the Dream in Your Heart. One of the most important keys to stewarding a dream is being patient with the process. Sometimes God gives you a dream that can take a few weeks to several years to come about. As Bernie shared, it is also important to value and nurture the dreams in your heart before releasing them prematurely. Therefore, to stay encouraged and protect the seed of desire planted in your heart, share it with people who are close to you and with whom you trust.
2. Maximize In-Season Opportunities. Your dream can come to fruition through a variety of ways. When you are presented with opportunities that may not seem to align with your dream, remember that God can use every season to provide lessons and skills you need to see your desire fulfilled. It’s important to take opportunities while in the process of nurturing your dream, even if they seem different from your vision. The surprise opportunities God presents along the way can be a gift and strength to you. Bernie shared with us that her path from Bible college to Bethel Church set her up to see her dream of starting a school realized, even though things didn’t always happen as she expected. God uses every season for our growth and benefit, and ultimately for His glory.
3. Pursue and Follow His Voice. Living an Ephesians 3:20 reality begins with following the voice of the One who knows the dreams in your heart. It is through partnership with Him that you will experience the “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think!” (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV) As you dream with Him, He will call you to take action, even great risks. For Bernie, she responded to God’s voice by jumping in her car and praying throughout the city of Redding to prepare for the school she envisioned. When she encountered moments of doubt as to whether or not the vision would come about, she continue to pray and follow His leading. Years later, she is experiencing the abundant fruit of a desire fulfilled!
Following God’s leading will often look different from our ideas and plans. But God is faithful to complete all that He started. We bless your dreams today and may you be strengthened with fresh grace to pursue them.
School Leaders Revival Chats can now be accessed through a subscription to BSSM Equip. Find out more about BSSM Equip by visiting our website at BSSMEquip.com.