may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
The word perfect there means spiritually mature, having reached the full measure of the purpose for which a person is created. This, in essence, is the purpose of all ministry, whether it is the ministry of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. It is to preach Christ, and to bring all men into a spiritually mature relationship with Him.
Paul wrote to the Galatians and said they were “my little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Christ was in them already, but He was not fully-formed in them yet: they were still children. Maturity in Jesus is what ministry is supposed to lead to. Christ is at the heart of everything; He is at the center of all activity; we begin with Him and we end with Him.