Eve Annunziato

My Fabulous New Ministry Venture! August 12, 2010

Filed under: Leadership,Life and Leadership,Ministry,Missions — Eve Annunziato @ 6:12 pm

Dear Amazing and Wonderful Friends and Family,

I have some very exciting news to tell you about concerning my next chapter of ministry.  In one week I’ll be joining the team at Mercy Ministries.  I have the blessing of Pastor Pete and the entire Cross Point Leadership Team as they are supporting God’s next calling on my new journey!

For those who are not familiar – yet 😉  Mercy Ministries  is a non-profit  Christian based rehabilitation center for girls ages 13-28 suffering from physical and sexual abuse, sex trafficking, unplanned pregnancies usually from rape or incest, and many other sad situations.  I start Aug. 18 on their Management Team as Church Relations Director.  I’m thrilled and joy-filled about my next ministry trek.

Although I’m extremely honored about this venture, I am quite sad to leave my CP staff family.  In addition,  I will certainly miss leading a terrific Family Experience Worship Service (FX LIVE) and working with my awesome volunteers on a daily basis!   I’ve been so humbled and privileged to take part in helping to teach the precious hearts of our children and helping to bring kids and parents together to worship God and learn about His word.  I will continue to participate as a volunteer leader for FX and fight for this mission that I’m still immensely passionate about.  Consequently, this is not good-bye to CP as I’ll continue to go wherever and do whatever they need.  In my heart, CP is the best church to serve on the planet 🙂  Charlie will continue to serve on the CP Elder Board for many more years. Additionally, he’ll continue to be the FX Host each month at our Bellevue campus, therefore, we get to serve together as a family which always makes my heart smile as Oharah would say!  

We’ve been at this wonderful community since day one and I plan to have that place hold my funeral  – 50 years from now!  In other words, CP  can’t get rid of me that easily 🙂

In the meantime, continue to lift me up in prayer during this transition.

Much love and many blessings to all!

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Can You Relate? January 4, 2009

On our way home from our annual Christmas trip to the Smoky Mountains (started this year!) while we were singing Christmas carols for three hours at the top of our lungs, I asked my typical question: “What was your favorite part of our trip?”   I expected my daughter to say visiting the aquarium, swimming in the heated pool, attending a show, shopping at one of three outlet malls (oh, wait, that was my fave!), eating the great food, or walking through the streets amongst the sea of beautiful Christmas lights. Instead, her response was, “Being with my family!”   She proceeded to elaborate – “When I was a little kid (as if she were no longer little), I had a dream of a mommy named Eve, a daddy named Charlie, and a brother named Gentry – and they all looked like you.  When I grew-up my prayers came true!”

It occurred to me that my 4-year old daughter gets it.  Even Oharah’s teacher told us she’s often the class leader befriending everyone along the way.  She understands the key to great leadership; management via relationship – what I consider MOST IMPORTANT!  If you don’t put the people you lead before your purpose, you’re not leading to your fullest potential.  It took me a while to learn this vital lesson, after I failed, failed, and then failed some more.

When asked by a very successful businesswoman and volunteer coordinator at my recent Team Building workshop, “Why should I get to know my team members?  Aren’t I supposed to send out schedules, make reminder calls, and organize my teams, only?” This is a common misconception and a popular reaction.  We spent 20 minutes on this discussion, but to sum up my response, leaders can’t afford to get caught up in administrative tasks.  You’re most effective when you have time to encourage, support, shepherd, connect, vision-cast, and interact.  This builds trust, loyalty and community among those whom you’re leading and you.

It’s seems insignificant, maybe even unimportant, but it’s the best part of the job.  Recently, I had lunch with four of my female team leaders.  We never talked “shop.”  Instead, we had in-depth conversations about marriage, kids, faith and life’s challenges.  I want my teammates to know that I first care about them and choose to do life with them.  Completing tasks are easier when they know their existence means something to the organization and me.  Here’s great news – it’s the best part of the job.  Forced leadership is overrated; building authentic relationships is much more inspirational, rewarding and fun!

If you feel relational leadership is over-hyped because it’s too “nurturing” and “feel good” and leading shouldn’t be about popularity, than frankly, you’re missing the point.  Unbeknownst to you, without it, you may unintentionally discourage, deflate, and dispirit workers. Take time to spend time with them and let them know they’re more than just a means to an end result.  No matter how much money you earn, how much power you possess, or what job title you obtain, if you’re missing this mark, you’re not where you COULD be.

By the way, the inquisitive volunteer and Company VP recently contacted me.  She started using this philosophy in her business, enjoying the relational part of her volunteer duties most of all and feeling more “helpful and fulfilled!”  In other words, she can relate, now can you?

 

SHUT-UP AND LISTEN December 8, 2008

Often times as a leader you need to know when to shut-up and listen – and boy, do I love to hear myself talk. But unbeknownst to most, and surprisingly to many, I love to listen even more. Well, let me rephrase, I adhere to wise, bright, sharp people with whom I respect. As for everyone else, I tend to ignore them and keep chatting…  Okay, so this is my effort to shut-up, by posting a recent blurb from my highly intelligence husband’s blog and sharing a portion of this week’s powerful message at church! I’ve been processing it all week and writing down ways in my journal to implement:

If YOU will change, EVERYTHING will change for you… – Jim Rohn

I love that quote. First of all, it reminds me that I can’t sit and wait for the world around me to change first – I have to be the one to change my life. I can’t wait for my friends, my family, my boss, the government, my doctor or anyone else to make it better – I have to do it. If I want something different today than yesterday, I have to DO something differently…

I have to THINK differently

I have to TALK differently

I have to ACT differently

I have to DECIDE differently

If I don’t, then today will be much like yesterday… This quote also reminds me that I have much more control over my life than I sometimes give credit. Life is a gift (although I know it’s hard sometimes). I need to ask myself each morning, “What am I going to do with this gift today?” Asking that question alone can change your life…

Change – I accept it, embrace it, and thrive in it; all part of my personal long road to redemption… And, in order to have sustainable revolutionary change, you need to shut-up, listen, and take action. Step one, begin to implement and execute a call to action from the message at my incredibly amazing church, where we’re being challenged to put Christ back in X-mas by accepting and implementing His way of thinking:

Everybody’s Welcome

Nobody’s Perfect

Anything’s Possible

You see, sometimes our twisted point of view looks like this:

Everybody’s Welcome (as long as you’re my close friend)

Nobody’s Perfect (except for me of course)

Anything’s Possible (thanks to my ability, gifts and talents!)

Arrogant and inappropriate – obviously. Unacceptable and delusional – of course. A deceitful lie – most certainly, but, a temptation non-the-less. So, I’m gonna shut-up and listen now, and focus on changing my way of thinking!

 

HAPPY HOLY HUDDLE November 24, 2008

As we head into our season of Thanksgiving I have the obvious attitude of gratitude: A heavenly father who loves me unconditionally in spite of my faults, my cherished family and few close friends who love me unconditionally in spite of my faults, and a lifestyle I don’t deserve yet yearn to appreciate. But this post isn’t about that stuff or my invaluable community of loved ones all of whom are quite lovable. Rather, this challenge is about those I haven’t yet met but whom I aspire to love.

The honest raw truth, I have a horrible habit of remaining in my Happy Holy Huddle. In order to keep a balanced lifestyle, I intentionally singularly invest in and surround my self with those dearest to my heart. I’m often asked, “Eve, when are you going to Twitter, or sign-up on Facebook (or Face-Space as my father often refers to it) in order to stay connected with others?” My answer, “Never!” More connected, are you kidding me?! Please, I’m most joyful and content disconnected from the outside world. I’m most comfortable circled up in my Happy Holy Huddle. But, isn’t that contrary of how we’re actually called to form authentic community?

“The goal of the Christian life is to love well. Jesus was aware that true spirituality included not only loving God, but also the skill of loving others maturely… Growing into an emotionally mature Christian person includes experiencing each individual, including myself as sacred, or as Martin Buber, great Jewish theologian put it, as a ‘Thou’ rather than an ‘It’… According to Buber, ‘We treat people as an It when we use them as means to an end or as objects. We treat people as a Thou when we recognize each person as a separate human being made in God’s image and treat them with dignity and respect.’”
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

Frankly, I’ve been processing this meaningful devotion since I encountered the truth a few weeks ago during my quiet time. These words pierced my heart with a dagger of conviction. It’s my prayer this holiday season to disassemble my huddle, disconnect from my contented spirit and start loving those I haven’t yet met.

Sure, I’ll still continue to guard my heart from getting more bombarded, busier, noisier, and more indebted to the virtual Cyber World (Not judging anyone who chooses to go this route to build community, including my sweet husband, but just setting a personal boundary not intended for everyone!). I’m striving to reach out more, build deeper relationships, and experience life, with even those outside my convenient circle of familiarity. There are plenty of opportunities we encounter in order to engage and extend a gracious heart. This Happy Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks for my existing relationships and my prospective interactions whilst far from my Happy Holy Huddle!

On another personal note, congratulations to my loving husband and favorite weatherman! He was just awarded two Television Emmy nominations: an honor he’s most humble and grateful to receive. I’m quite excited for my already two-time Emmy award winner and am thrilled about these recent Emmy nods! Good luck, and I’m so very proud of you, baby!

 

FROM THE HEART November 7, 2008

This is what I pondered during my morning Yoga:

“Right now, and in every now moment, you are either closing or opening.  You are either stressfully waiting for something – more money, security, affection, or you are living from your deep heart, opening to the entire moment, and growing what you most deeply desire to give, without waiting.  If you are waiting for anything in order to live and love, without holding back, then you will suffer.  Every moment is the most important moment of your life.  No future time is better than now to let down your guard and love.  Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone.  Your posture can shine your heart, or transmit anxiety.  Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression.  Your glance can awaken joy.  Your words can inspire freedom.  Your every act can open hearts and minds.  Opening from the heart to all, you live as a gift to all. ”    By David Deida

Wow, I love this.  It does always come down to the heart of the matter, doesn’t it?  It reminds me of what my Meteorologist husband, Charlie, likes to call, “The Vortex Rule.”  You see, when a storm becomes destructive, like a tornado, it not only affects areas directly in its path, but also an area around the immediate path.

It’s clear, The Vortex Rule, is also true for us.  When we’re living a hectic and imbalanced life, the resulting unhappiness and stress doesn’t just affect us, it affects those around us.  Oftentimes, THOSE WE LOVE THE MOST.  How many times has the mood of the whole room changed when you entered it angry?  A bad day for you can quickly turn into a bad day for your whole family, your co-workers, or your friends.

So, let’s create a healthy environment in which real JOY is possible both in our home and in our workplace, whether you lead your family, staff, volunteers or all the above.    We’re just one beat away from bringing down the room and sucking out the energy from everyone in it.  Do a pulse check and remember it’s the spirit of your heart that matters to you and the others around you.

 

Gifted To Lead PART 2 September 25, 2008

I could talk about this subject all day.  But instead, I’ll just dedicate one final post. As a refresher, we’re exploring the book by Author Nancy Beach called, Gifted to Lead, an inspiring and refreshing journey in which Nancy poignantly explores the art of leading as a woman (Men, don’t stop reading, this will help you manage, teach, lead, and understand the women in your world more). The following will resonate with women and men of influence:


“I believe it is no accident that Jesus was the first rabbi to teach women, to include them in his circles, to give them a level of dignity and opportunity that had been unknown.  We’re told in the eighth chapter of Luke that when Jesus traveled around, he went in a community that included the Twelve, along with women who, in some cases, came from pretty shady backgrounds.  Imagine in that day, a little group of men and women, mostly single, traveling together from town to town. Imagine the rumors and gossip!  Yet Jesus was so committed to creating a new kind of community where it was possible for men and women to relate to each other as brothers and sisters that he was courageously willing to run the risk.  And, so was born a new kind of community, where in Christ there was no longer male and female to stand as a barrier that divided humanity.”
John Ortberg, Forward in Gifted To Lead

Wow!  I love that.  This week a wise man pointed out that at the core of who we are, man and woman, we are the same.  Jesus looked directly into our heart, not our sex.  Leadership is an act of the spirit, an immense responsibility, an earned respect, a presence, a skill not to be taken for granted.  After all, on some level, whether mother, wife, employer, employee, volunteer, homeroom mom, community group facilitator, friend or daughter, we all lead in some capacity.  Embrace it, enjoy it, and accept it.

“I challenge all leaders – women and men – to discover their unique style of leadership and then to live it out with confidence and passion.  The church and our world need all kinds of leaders!  When I see a man lead a team by building strong community, or a woman who displays amazing skills of strategy or vision, I celebrate.  Being true to how God made us makes leadership less of a burden and more of a natural outpouring of how we function best.”  Nancy Beach, Gifted To Lead

I’ll leave you with that.  It will have to be all for now.  I have to sew a flag costume that includes a red, white, and blue wig for my son’s history project this week.  If you know me, I give you permission to laugh aloud.  Alas, it’s time for me to lead this costume making undertaking (Pray for me!).

 

Tired Of Being Tired? August 30, 2008

My husband recently got me very excited (no it’s not that, get your mind out of the gutter people!  That’s another blog topic altogether!).  It was after reading his recent post about being tired.   I think many of us are tired of being tired, tired of being status quo, and tired of mediocrity.

Today, I received a phone call from my best friend here in Nashville.  She said she was in the process of reading a motivational book when she started to think of me (it was at that point that I was flattered that I was in her thoughts!).  Susie explained that she understood that in the past I’ve been told I have a restless spirit and she said that although that description has hurt my feelings at times, she wanted to let me know she thinks it’s one of my positive attributes.  She proceeded to explain that my somewhat restlessness has me always taking risks, setting and achieving my goals all the while saying, “Okay, I’ve finished that! Now God, what’s next on my agenda to accomplish?”

I’m not sure if I can live up to her standard, but I accepted the kind words nonetheless!   Like almost all of you, I do indeed make a concerted effort to strive to achieve excellence – not always getting there but trying all the same.  Charlie’s below post, made me stand up and cheer!!

I think many people are tired…

Tired of the status quo…

Tired of average…

Tired of unremarkable…

Tired of the same old, same old…

Tired of feeling like there’s more…

Are you?

What if you took being tired of these things and used it to motivate you to change? What if you decided it’s time to…

break out,

step up,

take a chance,

be different,

dream higher,

reach higher,

be nicer, serve better,

follow your dreams,

and be remarkable?

Is an extrodinary life calling your name?  If so, isn’t it time to answer the call?