Church of Christ
Mission USA

Fixing the Hole and Filling the Bucket

Michael G. Knox   

      A story is told of a young man whose Mother told to him to gather water from the well.  He walked nearly a mile to the well with his bucket, dipped it into the water and drew out a bucket full of water.  As he carried the water back to the house for his mother, the water began to leak out through a hole in the bottom; drip by drip until nearly all the water was gone.  He proudly presented the bucket to his mother saying, “I did it – I got the water for you, Ma.”  She looked into the bucket seeing only enough water to fill a glass – not near enough do all she needed.  Noticing the hole she said, “Why didn’t you fix the hole before you fetched the water?  Now we don’t have enough.  Go fix the hole and fill up the bucket.”

      The church is much like that bucket.  We have an obligation to fill it with new members (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16, 2 Timothy 2:2).  Jesus called His disciples to be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17).  We must constantly be filling the bucket.  And why would we not want to tell others about the saving gospel?

      Also, the church is like the bucket in that sometimes we lose those whom we have converted because we do not continue to teach.  We haven’t fixed the hole.  Notice the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, there are three aspects of that command, “teach (make disciples) of all nations,”  “baptizing them,” “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you….”  To teach, baptize and teach again – that is our mission.  When we do these things, we are not only filling the bucket but, fixing the hole.

      Where are we in obeying God’s command?  Are we just filling the bucket and leaving babes in Christ sitting on the baptistery steps or are we just trying to stop the loss of members?  Some congregations are only concerned with adding to the church roll at all costs.  Other churches are only concerned with attrition.  They make the worship more of a show than a heart-felt expression of reverence to God.  They add puppets, ball teams, and many other things just to keep the people.  They are fixing the hole with bubble gum and not a wooden plug.  It just will not work.  We must teach the people the word of God (Acts 5.42; 1 Timothy 4:11, 6:2; 2 Peter 2:2, 3:18) and baptize them into Christ (Acts 2:38, 3:19).  Further, we must progress in the word and help others do the same (1 Corinthians 3:2, Hebrews 5:12-13).  When we help build mature Christians, they continue to not only help fill the bucket but fill the hole and help retain members.

      The Bible way is the only way to grow the church of Christ.  So let us fix the hole and fill the bucket by obeying God’s commands.  We can do it.