I still think Christians ought to approach their involvement in the life of the church as one of giving, not getting, but I am not nearly so dismissive of the need for feed these days.
I've been convicted of several things related to my churchy assumptions over the past couple of weeks. One was encountering some self-helpy megachurch pastor boasting of over 200 "decisions" at his church on one Sunday. I was immediately suspicious of that data, and while I still think it's fishy, I was convicted by the Spirit for my sin of wishing it wasn't true. That's just messed up. I can think the data's fishy for a variety of reasons in good conscience; but wanting it to be fishy because of my not liking the pastor or the church is sin.
Another conviction came yesterday, courtesy of John Piper. (He has a pesky habit of doing this to me.) I came across this passage in his little book The Dangerous Duty of Delight:
The true diagnosis of weak worship is not that our people are coming to get and not to give. Not a few pastors scold their people that the worship services would be lively if people came to give instead of to get. There is a better diagnosis.
People ought to come to corporate worship services to get. They ought to come starved for God. They ought to come saying, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God" (Psalm 42:1). God is profoundly honored when people know that they will die of hunger and thirst unless they have God. And it is my job as a preacher to spread a banquet for them. I must show them from Scripture what they are really starving for -- God -- and then feed them well until they say, "Ahhh." That is worship.
You know, I've been teaching the sole-satisfaction of Christ's completed work and God's complete glory for months now, but it took John Piper to connect the dots for me.
This reformational movement of the discipleship culture of the American Church calls us to feed the sheep, to call people to nail their self-sustenance and belly-gods to the cross and find eternal satiation and glorious satisfaction in the Living Water, the Bread of Life, the flesh and the blood of Jesus Christ.