He also gave apostles, prophets, missionaries, as well as pastors and teachers as gifts [to his church].
Their purpose is to prepare God's people, to serve, and to build up the body of Christ.
This is to continue until all of us are united in our faith and in our knowledge about God's Son, until we become mature, until we measure up to Christ, who is the standard.
Then we will no longer be little children, tossed and carried about by all kinds of teachings that change like the wind. We will no longer be influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray.
Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head.
He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint. As each and every part does its job, he makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.