A 2009 story in the USA Today newspaper reported that out-of-wedlock births were exploding in numbers around the world. A decade ago, for example, 1 of every 3 births in Canada was illegitimate. In 2009 in the United States, nearly one-in-two babies were born to unwed mothers. It appears that in all too many cases, the goal in life is to make babies.
Many churches make producing spiritual babies the goal also, but the salvation of the sinner is only the beginning of the ministry of the local church.
Getting people saved isn’t the goal of church ministry, just like getting a woman pregnant isn’t the goal of fatherhood. The ministry goal of the local church must be the spiritual maturity of God’s people in the image of Christ.
God creates the new life in Christ and has then set as the purpose of local church spiritual growth; that God’s people would come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ … that we may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ (Eph 4:13, 15).
Maturity comes as the Holy Spirit uses Bible teaching, which is the sound doctrine (Titus 1:9) and solid food (Hebrews 5:14) of the Christian’s soul.