2020 Incoming Elders – Sean Anthony Fenner

July 24, 2020

Each year the Free Methodist Church celebrates our incoming elders – leaders who have dedicated themselves to God’s work in the world. Sean Anthony Fenner shares his story of how he first experienced God in his life, how he made the decision to enter into ministry, and why he chose to serve in the Free Methodist Church.

# How did you first experience God and choose to follow Christ?

The first Sunday of January 2008. I came to Light and Life North Long Beach and received Jesus as my Lord and Savior as I accepted the altar call invitation that first Sunday. No looking back!

I immediately felt invited and connected. My wife and I attended a meeting with our Pastor and he started building a relationship with us from our first day there. We call our church the “people loving place” and I felt the love of Christ and heard it from God’s people. My experience awakened a desire to daily experience God’s love in me, to be shared with others. We joined a small group, got involved with serving, got baptized, served on a mission trip in Indonesia, and within 4 years I was working on staff. It’s good to belong!

# How did the Spirit guide you to your current ministry and what has God called you to do through your ministry?

A team model has always been on my heart for ministry and accountability. I felt God asking me to always travel with a disciple as my national speaking platform began to grow, and have felt God asking me to be a part of a ministry team ever since.

At Light and Life we are passionate about all people of all ages from all backgrounds, and the Revelation 7 (“every tribe and every tongue”) expression of the Body of Christ. Here we have the opportunity to live that out as I lead a diverse staff and we influence diversity in the Kingdom from our own backyard to countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic.

# How did you come to first be involved with the Free Methodist Church and why have you chosen to continue your ministry as an Elder in the Free Methodist Church?

From day one at Light and Life I was taught the values of living out our Five Freedoms. I was first exposed in 2013 to the History and Polity / Wesleyan Theology Classes, and fell in love with our expression in the body of Christ. It sent me on a path to learn, grow, and share with as many people as possible the powerful move of God that our history was birthed in, and to link that history with the move of the Spirit of God in the here and now.

I’ve spent the last 7 years searching for, participating in, and connecting with opportunities for the FMCSC to live out being the best expression that we can be based on the theology and values that we cling to. That search and commitment has led me to ordination, and I am excited to serve and grow in this family in the ways that God allows and our leaders see use for my gifting.

The Diversity of Unity: Is Holiness Really Legalistic? – w/ Rev. Dr. Carla Sunberg
The Diversity of Unity: Is Holiness Really Legalistic? – w/ Rev. Dr. Carla Sunberg

Rev. Dr. Carla Sunberg, General Superintendent, Church of the Nazarene, discusses common misconceptions around the Wesleyan view of holiness, tracing the roots of the holiness movement to the transformational work of the Holy Spirit in followers’ lives. Over time, later generations focused too much on outward actions rather than the Spirit’s inner sanctifying work. She points out that discipleship helps avoid legalism. This episode unpacks the biblical basis for living a life that is both deeply rooted in personal holiness and actively engaged in promoting social justice. Listen as we explore practical ways to embody these dual commitments in our communities and beyond.Key TakeawaysUnderstanding the biblical call to holiness and social justice.Strategies for integrating faith into action within one’s community.Understanding other traditions gives richer insight into holiness.Helpful Bible ReferencesMicah 6:8 – Emphasizing the requirement to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.James 2:14-26 – Highlighting the inseparable nature of faith and deeds.Galatians 5:22-23 – The fruit of the SpiritHebrews 12:14 – Pursuing holinessKeywordsHoliness, Wesleyan theology, Sanctification, Discipleship, Holy Spirit, Social Justice, Faith in Action, Biblical WisdomLinks and ResourcesKevin Mannoia’s website: https://kevinmannoia.com/Holiness Today Magazine: https://holinesstoday.org/index.php/Holiness Today Podcast: https://holinesstoday.podbean.com/Way, Truth, Life: Discipleship as a Journey of Grace, by Dr. David Busic: ​​https://www.amazon.com/Way-Truth-Life-Discipleship-Journey/dp/0834139693 Reflecting the Image, by Dr. Carla Sunberg: https://www.amazon.com/Reflecting-Image-Mirror-Christ-World/dp/0834135272/Teach Us to Pray, by Dr. Carla Sunberg: https://www.amazon.com/Teach-Us-Pray-Learn-Scripture/dp/0834141787/Dr. Carla Sunberg’s blog: https://reflectingtheimage.blogspot.com/ About the Podcast”Anchored & Reaching” is a thought-provoking weekly podcast designed for curious Christians who aspire to impact the world while remaining deeply rooted in their faith. Hosted by Kevin Mannoia, each episode features engaging conversations, practical insights, and diverse perspectives from Christian leaders who embody the dual values of being anchored in Christ and actively reaching out to the world. Join Kevin every week as he encourages you to live a dynamic Christian life, grounded in biblical truth and fueled by a passion for positive change.Email: [email protected]: https://anchoredandreaching.com

The Diversity of Unity: Is There Life in the Mainlines – w/ Bishop Todd Hunter
The Diversity of Unity: Is There Life in the Mainlines – w/ Bishop Todd Hunter

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter describes his journey from leading the Vineyard movement to becoming a bishop in the Anglican Church. He traces the Anglican influence on the Vineyard movement and evangelical churches more broadly through figures like John Stott and N.T. Wright. Hunter explores common misconceptions about mainline denominations, explaining that while there has been theological drift, mainline churches still contain devoted followers of Jesus. He observes a growing hunger amongst young Christians for historical groundedness leading them to traditions like Anglicanism, but cautions against overly formal or inaccessible liturgy. Hunter advocates doing liturgy in the “language of the people” to make it warm and welcoming while retaining historic structure.Key TakeawaysAnglicanism has deeply influenced evangelical figures and churches, from John Wimber to Alpha to many borrowing elements of the Book of Common PrayerMainline Protestant churches have declined but still contain millions of sincere, devoted ChristiansYounger generations are rediscovering groundedness, history, and liturgy amidst a trend of faith deconstructionLiturgy is inescapable; the key is making historically structured liturgy engaging and accessibleHelpful Bible ReferencesMatthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer as a model for structured, yet deeply personal prayer)Luke 1:38 – “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Mary’s humble, obedient faith)

KeywordsAnglican Church, liturgy, mainline denominations, Vineyard Church, Alpha, Book of Common Prayer, deconstruction, Church of England, traditionAbout Anchored & Reaching”Anchored & Reaching” is a thought-provoking weekly podcast designed for curious Christians who aspire to impact the world while remaining deeply rooted in their faith. Hosted by Kevin Mannoia, each episode features engaging conversations, practical insights, and diverse perspectives from Christian leaders who embody the dual values of being anchored in Christ and actively reaching out to the world. Join Kevin every week as he encourages you to live a dynamic Christian life, grounded in biblical truth and fueled by a passion for positive change.

Email: [email protected]: https://anchoredandreaching.com

Kevin’s website: https://kevinmannoia.com/

The Diversity of Unity: Is the SDA a Cult – with Dr. Timothy Gillespie
The Diversity of Unity: Is the SDA a Cult – with Dr. Timothy Gillespie

In this episode of “Anchored & Reaching,” Kevin Mannoia dives into the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church’s beliefs and history with Dr. Timothy Gillespie, Dmin, Lead Pastor, Crosswalk Redlands and Teaching Pastor, Crosswalk Global Network of Churches. They discuss the SDA’s origins in the Millerite movement and the Great Disappointment, the denomination’s development including its health and educational work, and address misconceptions labeling it as a cult. Gillespie emphasizes the SDA’s commitment to scripture, education, and the importance of understanding the denomination within the broader Christian community. The discussion also covers the Adventist emphasis on the Sabbath and how it shapes their identity and perception by others in the Christian faith.Key TakeawaysThe SDA Church’s foundation on the Millerite movement and the Great Disappointment.The role of Ellen White and her contributions to SDA theology and practice.The denomination’s extensive work in health and education as expressions of their faith.Challenges and misconceptions faced by the SDA Church, including being labeled as a cult.The significance of the Sabbath in SDA belief and practice, and its impact on the denomination’s relationship with the wider Christian community.Helpful Bible ReferencesHebrews 4:9-10 – Rest in Christ as the Sabbath rest.Revelation 14:12 – The patience of the saints, keeping the commandments of God and faith in Jesus.2 Peter 1:20-21 – Understanding prophecy and scripture.KeywordsSeventh-day Adventist, SDA, Ellen White, Great Disappointment, Sabbath, cult misconceptions, Christian unity, health ministry, educationAbout Anchored & Reaching”Anchored & Reaching” is a thought-provoking weekly podcast designed for curious Christians who aspire to impact the world while remaining deeply rooted in their faith. Hosted by Kevin Mannoia, each episode features engaging conversations, practical insights, and diverse perspectives from Christian leaders who embody the dual values of being anchored in Christ and actively reaching out to the world. Join Kevin every week as he encourages you to live a dynamic Christian life, grounded in biblical truth and fueled by a passion for positive change.Email: [email protected]: https://anchoredandreaching.com