Going forth in the Lord’s name

Lead image for Worship

In our journey of faith, it is important to recognise that worship extends far beyond the walls of our churches. As Christians, we can also find divine purpose and worship God through our secular work.

The hymn “Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go” (United Methodist Hymnal 438) by Charles Wesley echoes the resolve to know and serve God in all aspects of life and invites us to consider our daily endeavours as opportunities for worship. The words of Wesley, “Thee, only thee, resolved to know in all I think or speak or do,” is a reminder that our work can be a form of devotion and a tangible expression of our faith.

The hymn’s call to go forth in God’s name becomes a daily commission, shaping our labour into a reflection of his love. In the workplace, we can embody the principles of love and good works, allowing our actions to be a testament to the transformative power of God’s grace. For example, we may choose to show patience to difficult colleagues and clients or seek God’s wisdom first when pondering how to approach a challenging piece of work. Through such ways, each task or interaction becomes an opportunity to manifest the love of Christ.

In our jobs, we can influence the culture around us. When we bring our faith into our daily work, we can be a force for good by making positive changes and being reflectors of his light. Whether through acts of kindness, ethical decision-making, or a commitment to excellence in our tasks, we can make our work an offering to God. In doing so, we transform the ordinary into the sacred, and our professional lives become an act of worship, resonating with the timeless words of Charles Wesley.

Let us resolve to know and serve God in our workplaces, recognising that our faith is integral to our secular careers, not separate from it. As we engage in the marketplace, may our lives serve as a living testimony to the transformative power of God’s love, influencing the world around us for the glory of his name.

Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,
My daily labour to pursue;
Thee, only thee, resolved to know
In all I think or speak or do.

The task thy wisdom hath assigned
O let me cheerfully fulfil;
In all my works thy presence find,
And prove thy good and perfect will.

Thee may I set at my right hand,
Whose eyes mine inmost substance see,
And labour on at thy command,
And offer all my works to thee.

For thee delightfully employ
Whate’er thy bounteous grace hath given;
And run my course with even joy,
And closely walk with thee to heaven.

~ Charles Wesley, 1749

Gwendolyn Tan is the Senior Programme Executive for Worship & Music at the Methodist School of Music and a member of Barker Road Methodist Church.