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Allison Kliewer | How to use Administration to Build a Ministry

Allison Kliewer is the administrator for Awakening Ministries International. In today’s episode of the Evangelism Podcast she talks about why it is important to set up administrative systems and processes in a ministry. Her advice can help your ministry grow.

Website: https://www.awakeningmintl.org


Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Alison Cleaver is the administrator for Awakening Ministries International. In today’s episode of the evangelism podcast, she talks about why it is important to set up administrative systems and processes in a ministry. Her advice can help your ministry grow.

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:19):
Jesus said, go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord. Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King we’re Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host missionary and evangelist Daniel King. Welcome to

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:55):
The evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I am excited to tell people about Jesus. And today I have a special guest with me, Alison Cleaver. She works with will Jones and awakening ministries international. We are in the nation of Sierra Leone right now, and Alison joined awakening ministries and has been helping them a lot in the area of administration. And so thank you for being on the podcast today. Thanks for having me Daniel. So you went to college. Tell me, what did you study while you were?

Allison Kliewer (01:32):
Yeah, I studied business management and emphasized and project management.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:36):
And so you have a background in business and administration and before you went into ministry, you worked in the corporate world. What, what type of things did you do in the corporate?

Allison Kliewer (01:50):
Yeah, that’s correct. I did. I worked actually for a very high end company. That’s in Oklahoma, very thriving, top 500 fortune company. And what I did specifically that I was hired on was the administration. So I started out as an admin assistant, but ended up working my way up in four years to actually being the executive assistant to the VP and director of our department. And then even being a team lead over the administration team of our department.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:18):
And so you were very successful doing that, but God called you to be in ministry. How did that happen?

Allison Kliewer (02:26):
Wow, great question. So several years after I read it indicated my life to Christ. I recognized I wanted to do something different in my walk with, with Jesus and that actually was meaning to be discipled. And so I began praying God brings somebody to disciple me, to pour into me, to correct me, hold me accountable because I was not changing. I wasn’t I was, I was doing the same things over and over and I realized I needed to change. And so on. What’s crazy is that I ended up in prayer being answered because I met a young woman named Jennifer who randomly joined my Bible study group in Oklahoma. And there was something so unique and different about her because she kept asking our group questions and she was brand new first time visiting. And it made no sense. I’m like, who is this woman?

Allison Kliewer (03:19):
Like, who is she? But there was something spiritual to her about her that God’s like, you needed to connect with her. And so we ended up becoming friends and then all along story short is that it ended up six months later after that prayer I was introduced to her husband who is, will Jones. Who’s the founder and president of awakening ministries international. And during that time I was really wrestling with God of like, man, God, man, I believe there’s, there’s something else that you want me to do because I don’t want to continue living this mundane life. Like I was getting up at six, I was going to work and I was eating dinner and then I was going to bed and repeating it over and over. And at some point you had a car wreck or something. Oh yes. So I ended up at the same time that I was meeting will and building relationship with Jen I was in a car wreck that actually put me on bed rest.

Allison Kliewer (04:10):
I ended up having hip surgery and basically this is where God was saying, Hey, I’m trying to get your attention and I need you to stop. And so during the two weeks of recovery, from my hip surgery, I wrestled with God and was like, God, I was angry and I was fighting him. And he was like, but we have all the time in the world. But I actually came to a place of submission. I said, God, whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it. And fast forward a couple months. And I’ll remember it to this day that at my old home church at a revival week I specifically said, God, remember I said, whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it, speak to me right now. And I heard this voice, this audible voice that says, you’re going to have a change of job.

Allison Kliewer (04:52):
And I want you to proclaim the gospel to my lost people. And I said, what, what does that even mean? Because I have no ministry education. I have no experience I’ll set of sort of in the local church. Like where do you, where does, where can I fit in to do this with my administrative background, my experience, and then not having an education or ministry experience. And so it just so happened that actually during that time of the car wreck, I was invited to come on board with awakening ministries, international volunteering as Will’s executive assistant. So I was also working full time and volunteering. Part-Time about 20, 30 hours a week serving as an executive assistant. And so I had shared with will and Jennifer both about the call because I was like, Oh, I don’t know what this is. It kind of terrifies me like to leave a comfortable job and security and leadership and all these things.

Allison Kliewer (05:50):
And and found out that AMI actually has an internship program specifically for people who feel called to gain that experience, to gain education so that they can be propelled into their platform in which God’s calling them to do. And I’ll tell you, there was such rest and peace in that, that I made the decision to leave my corporate job of money. High-End money of salary benefits and leadership and authority and entitlement, all these things because God’s specifically spoke to me and that actually started the journey for me transitioning out of my corporate job into going into full-time ministry.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:28):
And so let’s talk about that transition in order to start in ministry, it’s a unique situation because you basically had to raise your own support in order to be in ministry. So you went from having a salary, working with a corporate job to going and asking people to support you as a minister. What was that

Allison Kliewer (06:54):
Terrifying? I’ll just be straight up honest. It was terrifying because I’ve never done anything like it and just having a mindset or going from being paid to do something then to saying, Hey, this is godly to be able to invite people and ask people to support you, either through a one-time gift, a special gift or monthly on a monthly basis to work. And for somebody that’s in business school and the way I was raised and being corporate world, like that’s not normal. But it is very biblical. And, and with that went through experience of being equipped. And I think that was the biggest part was actually being trained. And then even finding scripture of what is in the Bible that says, this is what God says, that it, he will do like challenge him in this. And he will show you that the churches, even Paul, like ask churches to support him, whether that was food, a place to stay or finances, like that’s all part of being the body. And so yeah, training was huge. And then just resetting my mindset really helps start the process of our funding of my fundraising.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:04):
So how long did it take you to get your initial funding?

Allison Kliewer (08:08):
Yeah, what’s crazy is that with AMI, we have this model of being able to be fully funded in a hundred days. And that’s because of an organization that’s in Texas. They have this model and it’s through a book called God ask. And it actually what’s crazy is that out of the a hundred days, I was fully funded with my cash pot and my monthly within 69 days,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:33):
What a tremendous miracle. So that gave you the freedom to be able to launch out into ministry. And you brought your administrative background and experience with you. And I think administration is extremely important for a ministry. A lot of people, when they think of ministry, they think of the platform moments where someone’s on the platform, proclaiming the gospel, people are getting saved, but in order to make that happen, there’s a lot of things that go on behind the scenes to, to make that happen. And so talk to me a little bit about the importance of administration and why it is important for a ministry to develop administratively. Yeah, I would love to.

Allison Kliewer (09:20):
So as you had mentioned, a lot of people think ministry is the platform or the, you know, out there speaking and being in front of a lot of people. But to be honest for that to even happen, there are things behind the scenes that need to happen so that person can be on the platform so that somebody can be out there reaching people and sharing the gospel with the masses. And so yeah, administration like without having some type of structure or processes or systems in place the whole, the whole end goal of being out on the platform so that people can hear and respond to the gospel will fall apart. Just like every day in your own home, they’re you don’t recognize that their system, that they’re structured, there’s timelines scheduling so that you can get out the door and go to your job and be able to eat and be accomplishing things, right. Just even your own daily life, it’s a very same principles and the same practical things that’s implemented in an organ organizationally for us to even do ministry and even corporately, it’s not just corporate and business, it’s, it’s also in ministry as well.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (10:29):
Let’s talk about doing a missions trip. For example, if you want to organize a missions trip, what are some of the things that need to take place administratively in order to make a missions trip successful?

Allison Kliewer (10:43):
Yeah. First and foremost is vision. You absolutely have to have vision throughout your entire team and not just have it with one person, but everybody on the team needs to be able to capture, understand it and have that within them. And then based on that vision, the second thing would be to set up goals. You got to have goals within that vision so that vision can come to life. And then outside within the goals, you need to have the objectives and objectives are the things that help you accomplish your goals to see your vision happening. And so with us in our organization for example, like our evangelistic mission festivals, we have a full process that is documented and that’s so key to have documentation of your processes of what needs to be done. Who’s involved, what roles and what’s your expectations and deadlines.

Allison Kliewer (11:34):
And so we actually have a document for that’s operational. That’s not, we, and we also have a documentation that’s external, which means when we’re on the ground. And when we partner with other organizations in other countries, there’s a whole process and structure for them to accomplish things that need to be done in their country. But for us as an organization and ministry, we have our own internal operational process. And so it’s from like 12 months out to a year and a half leading up from monthly to quarterly, quarterly to monthly, and even the structure of even after the trip. So we don’t just stop and say, Oh, the trip’s done. We’re at the finish line. No there’s even debriefing and there’s evaluations and and, and reporting. And so like you, you gotta have the structure from all the way from the beginning of a mobilization pre-trip of mapping out things all the way to the end of wrapping the trip up at the, at the very end.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:30):
And so you have a series of checklists and steps that have to be taken for everything to be accomplished. Yeah,

Allison Kliewer (12:38):
Absolutely. We, so within that timeline of whatever, it’s a year and a half, 12 months, or even six months we ha we need checklists reason. Why is because it lets everybody on the team know what needs to happen. But it also sets the expectation of who needs to be a part of it. And then the big key is accountability knowing that things are being accomplished. And so for us, so we have a project management system where we have it set up on a timeline. And then within that timeline, we set out that checklist of things that need to be accomplished within that timeline. So now we have deadlines and then within that, we assign those tasks within that timeframe, that timeline of who needs to accomplish it. And we can see if it’s ahead of schedule, if it’s on track or it’s in progress, but also to see if anything was dropped or if it was behind. And then we will have conversations with like, Hey, why was this? And what, what did you need to get that accomplished? And so there’s a lot of the reason of having checklist is not just to accomplish and to do things, but really it’s to hold each other accountable so that we can see the vision be carried out.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:45):
And also it makes it easier to train people as you’re onboarding new members of the team to say, this is what needs to be done. Like for example, I’ve started this evangelism podcast as my COVID project because of COVID, it’s been a little bit more difficult to travel. And so we started three months ago and in three months we’ve now recorded. I think your episode, number 94 or something in there. And I’ve been documenting everything it takes to get every episode done. And I have a checklist of 64 specific steps that have to be taken from recording all the way through to finishing the, the, the posting of the podcast, everything from graphics to editing the recording, to putting together a description of it. But there’s 64 specific steps. And now that I know those 64 specific steps, it makes it easy. When I go and hire someone to take care of this for me, I can say here, this is what you need to do.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (14:52):
And there’s a very clear benchmark of whether they will be successful or not, because we’ll be able to say, did you do this? Did you do this and go right down the checklist? And so that helps us to manage this particular project. Let’s talk about another system that you’ve, you’ve put in place. As people start to join AMI and get involved, you are challenging each of them to raise their money to do that just as you did. And it’s not just, you don’t just throw them out among wolves and say, you know, go get some money. You give them some specific steps and things that they can do in order to do that. What does that process look like?

Allison Kliewer (15:36):
Yeah, that’s so good. So the first and foremost thing when somebody is being onboarded into our organization is like, is getting them equipped and ensuring that they have the right resources and tools that they need to be launched in to do it because otherwise, like you said, like you’re being thrown into the wolves and you’re, it messes with you and it can cause chaos and confusion and then ultimately end up probably wanting to stop. Right. And so one of the first things that we do is that we actually have a resource, a book, and I mentioned earlier was called the goddess book. Oh, it’s such an incredible book when it comes to fundraising, because it helps break the narrative.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (16:16):
I hope you caught that there. She didn’t say fundraising. She said friend raising. Yeah. Tell me why you use that, that verbiage

Allison Kliewer (16:23):
Fundraising. Well, one fundraising, when you hear it, it kind of, it can have a negative connotation. Like when you have people who come to the door to ask you, people are like that, they want to stop you. So when you hear fundraising, it can kind of have that same tension or feeling and, but really friend raising for us. And what we really believe is like, man, you’re inviting people who care about you into this journey to financially support you. So that’s like your family, your friends, your colleagues, people who care, generally care about you. And so it’s inviting your friends and your family into it versus just cold asking, like doing a cold ask or a cold invite for people asking for money.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:04):
I think one of the challenges, a lot of people who launch out into ministry have is that they’re so busy doing the ministry that they forget to spend time working on the ministry and in building the processes and systems that will sustain them. Long-Term so they’re just so excited to get out there and preach. And they’re just, we’re going to go on a mission trip and just they’re, they’re making it happen by raw faith. Like, we’re just going to go do this, but they end up getting burned out because they don’t have the proper processes and systems in place to sustain the ministry over the longterm. So as you look at the ministry, what are some of the different administrative areas where systems should be developed if the ministry is going to be sustained long-term

Allison Kliewer (17:55):
Yeah, I think the big thing is having your processes documented like how you had mentioned how you wrote out 64 steps of this podcast, right? That is so pivotal because one, it’s not just it’s not just information, it’s a guideline, it’s a manual that’s laid out of detail of step-by-step so that somebody can come and pick it up, understand it, and to accomplish it. If you don’t have those things documented, then you’re kind of free spirit. And you’re just kind of just going with the flow, trying to figure out. And that actually takes a lot of energy out of you and can take a lot of emotion and time. That’s, that’s costly and that’s where it can exhaust you. But when you have systems and processes in place and documented it’s easier for you to go back to and remember, Oh, Hey, I need to go this so that you’re not wasting time. You’re not wasting energy, but also it helps those who are new coming into the process would be like, Oh, Hey, I can do this. Because I understand this and I can pick it up and I can follow this all the way through versus sideways energy being spent in other places where that energy could be going towards the ministry.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (19:05):
What are some of the tools that you use in administration? I’ve heard, you mentioned using like Google documents using Dropbox. How do you organize those and, and how do you use those tools to make the, the flow of information simple and effective?

Allison Kliewer (19:25):
Yeah, so we have different applications and tools for all different aspects of the ministry. And so we have ones that are specifically for communication right. Of because we actually have a communication hierarchy. So that’s another process of how we want to be able to communicate among our team within a timeline, whether it’s time sensitive or if it’s urgent how we first initiate a conversation like we have that process actually documented to help our team be able to communicate with one another and how to utilize the applications itself. And so one other thing, like, so one’s RingCentral people can use Slack, text messaging, email phone call, all those different things, help with communication. But for us as project management or doing tasks, we actually have an application called a sauna that we use. And it’s a pro specifically project based project management.

Allison Kliewer (20:19):
And it’s incredible. I get super excited about it. I love it. I thrive in it in a sense because it helps keep the organization organized and it helps keep individuals organized, but also it shows us of how to set things up from the beginning to the end. And then again, I’ll mention it like, it’s the accountability, because without a tool like that, we would never know what’s being done or what is being done and being able celebrate, or be able to say, Hey, that fell through the cracks. Like why was that ball dropped, let’s have conversations about that. It’s otherwise, we’re just really relying on the people to do that, but we also need systems and other applications in place for us as those on staff or within the organization to find the success that we would like to have, to be able to accomplish things.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:11):
Well, I think it’s really neat that you’re using this talent and gift that God has given you for administration, but God’s also giving you great opportunities to minister we’re here in Sierra Leone this week. And we had the opportunity to baptize 152 people. And I saw you down there in the water, you were baptizing all the women that were coming and had given their lives to Jesus. And so what’s that like for you seeing the fruit of all your labor, these people who are getting saved and baptized

Allison Kliewer (21:48):
Wow. Every time that comes up, I’m still in tears because it is such a humbling experience. Because the administration is a strength of mine and being behind the scenes. And I have come to know like men, that’s where I’m supposed to be. And so, and being okay that I may not be the front end and the being the main speaker or being the person baptized, but even having the opportunity to baptize someone, it was my first time to ever baptize someone and knowing that baptism is very personal and intimate between them and Jesus, because it’s an outward proclamation of saying, man, I’ve accepted Christ. I’m I’m ready to live a life for him. And having that opportunity to bow ties women here in Sierra Leone was such a humbling experience. And what an honor, because it brought so much joy to me to see how joyful that moment was for them because of how personal it was. And so, wow. That even somebody who is in administration or behind the scenes, majority of the time, God can still use you in, in ministry and other ways outside of that, because he wants to use all his children, all his sons and daughters to minister, to other people. And you’d be surprised that he can even use you through administration, to minister through people.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:09):
Amen. Well, thank you for using your gifts of administration for the Lord. And if someone wants to find out more information about AMI awakening, ministries, international, how can they find out more information? What’s your website?

Allison Kliewer (23:24):
Our website is www dot awakening. That’s a w a K E N I N G. Mental that’s spelled M I N T l.org.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:39):
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast.

Allison Kliewer (23:42):
Thanks Daniel so much for having me. It was a joy. Thank you. Thanks

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:46):
So much for listening to the evangelism podcast today, I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. And what we found is that as we go to different nations of the world, it takes us an average of about $1 for every person we’re able to reach with the gospel. And so some countries are more expensive. Some countries are a little bit less expensive, but on average, we’ve invested about $1 for every person we’re able to lead to Jesus. So today I’m asking you to go to my website, King ministries.com and give $1, $2, $5, become a monthly partner, help us to lead people to Jesus. Imagine you can start a party in heaven with just $1. Also go to Apple iTunes, leave us a review for the evangelism podcast with Daniel King. So lots of people can find this evangelism podcast. God bless you

Evangelism Podcast Host (24:39):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit King ministries.com. Again, that’s King ministries.com.

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