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  1007: Spreydon Baptist, Christchurch, New Zealand

Read this report | Other comments

4 May 2005

I'm a member of Spreydon Baptist Church in Christchurch, New Zealand, and I read your Mystery Worshipper review. While it is most likely accurate, I think the service chosen was a very poor reflection of what Spreydon is really about, for a number of reasons.

The service was unique in that it featured Brother Yun as more than just a guest speaker, but the entire point of the service. He didn't preach as part of a series. He preached for 90 minutes independently. The particular service wasn't a typical indication of what a morning service at Spreydon is about, but a typical indication of what a Brother Yun service is about.

Spreydon is very committed to community ministries and small groups. This is why the room we use for services doubles as a gymnasium (not a converted gymnasium as the review erroneously states); so we can use it for sports in children's, youth and other outreaches. With Spreydon, the Sunday service is far from the be all and end all, but simply a starting point from which we move out to what church is really about. A better indication of the nature of Spreydon would be to attend a small group, but I appreciate that small groups are not covered in your feature.

Spreydon is also famous for our senior pastor's preaching, which was not covered in the review. One of his 30 minute sermons should definitely be covered in any Mystery Worshipper review of Spreydon.

But the biggest distinguishing feature is our commitment to mission and God's revolution (the kingdom of God). Therefore to get a true idea of Spreydon for your readers it would be best to go to a night service at the moment, as we currently have a series called "It's time for the revolution" – click here for more information.

I suggest you repeat the review with a night service with Murray preaching as an indication of a Spreydon service, and leave the current review there as an indication of a Brother Yun service. Considering you do reviews for churches with only a hundred people attending, having two for a church of over 1,000 would not be unreasonable. You wouldn't be repeating yourself, not only because of the Brother Yun aspect but because one review is a morning service and the other an evening one, which are quite different in nature.

Spreydon is very important in New Zealand because it basically represents the other side of the conflict with the prosperity gospel. You have an accurate (and very revealing, thanks) review of Destiny Church, the largest proponent of prosperity in New Zealand, but your review of the alternative falls short of representing the church properly.

Thanks for your website; it's a good idea and the reviews are very informative and interesting.

Caleb Anderson

_____________________________________________

12 November 2013

Regarding Spreydon Baptist Church:

A little late to the party, but I was there for that service. The auditorium mentioned was the original church. SBC subsequently built the gymnasium with a dual purpose in mind, after it outgrew the original auditorium. Today, it still doubles as the main church meeting area and there are two services at 9.00 and 11.00. Probably about 1100 adults combined.

Brother Yun (whose autobiography The Heavenly Man details the persecution of Christians in communist China) was a visiting speaker, so it would have been difficult to gauge the prevailing quality of teaching/preaching based on that particular service.

A few weeks later, Baronet Lady Caroline Cox came and spoke about the persecuted church in the Caucasus. Again stirring stuff. Both speakers in such quick succession led to the formation of Spreydon Underground, a group of some 180 who now provide prayer and material support for the persecuted Christian.

Tony Kan
 
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