Here’s a recap of the service and the songs we chose this past weekend (You can find links to the set lists of this church and many other churches each week at

Order of Service — 2 January

(worship leader: William Chong)

1. O Church Arise – Stuart Townend and Keith Getty. I chose this song as the first for the year to remind us of the need for believers to be properly equipped with the armour of God (Eph 6:10-20). It’s also a great reminder that we’re soldiers “whose battle cry is Love”:

O church arise and put your armour on
Hear the call of Christ our Captain
For now the weak can say that they are strong
In the strength that God has given
With shield of faith and belt of truth
We’ll stand against the devil’s lies
An army bold whose battle cry is Love
Reaching out to those in darkness

2. Soli Deo Gloria – Mark Altrogge. If you’re looking for songs that declare some worthwhile New Years’ Resolutions, this one would be quite apt!

We resolve to live
For nothing else but Jesus Christ
To know the one who is our life
We resolve to live
By nothing but Your Word alone
Your strength alone for Your will alone

3. Psalm 62 (My Soul Finds Rest In God Alone) – Aaron Keyes and Stuart Townend. We introduced this as a new song, and I was glad to get some good feedback from one or two people that it was reasonably easy to pick up. It’s based pretty much on Psalm 62, and a real joy to sing particularly the third verse:

Though life is but a fleeting breath
A sigh too deep to measure
My King has crushed the curse of death
And I am His forever!

O praise Him hallelujah
My Delight and my Reward
Everlasting never failing
My Redeemer my God!

4. There Is A Hope – Stuart Townend and Mark Edwards. My favourite lines talk of a day we can look forward to as believers (Philippians 3:20):

When sufferings cease and sorrows die
And every longing satisfied
Then joy unspeakable will flood my soul
For I am truly home…

Sermon: Joe started a preaching series through the book of Colossians. From the first eight verses, he explained from the text that we as believers should fix our hope not on experiential, emotional or feelings-based things, but on the objective reality of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can watch it here:

Thanksgiving for the Transforming Work of the Gospel of Christ – Col 1:1-8 (Joe Fleener) from Howick Baptist Church on Vimeo.

5. In Christ Alone – Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. We responded to the preaching by singing this great summation of the gospel. It was very loud!


This Sunday service, I was particularly taken aback at how well the songs fitted with Joe’s message, which had much emphasis on Christ alone being our objective and joyous hope. I didn’t really intend for such a harmonisation between the songs chosen and the preaching (and it doesn’t have to happen every week). So for that I’m very thankful to the Lord, who is able to tie things together much better than I ever could!

I think the use of mainly Townend/Getty modern hymns fitted well with our instrumentation this week (voices and a piano, plus myself on guitar). These two songwriters have provided the Body of Christ with a great range of lyrically-rich and musically interesting worship songs, and many in our church have taken to singing them with enthusiasm and real gusto.


– William Chong

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