I love you and want you to grow up well, not spoiled. There are a lot of people around who can’t wait to tell you what you’ve done wrong, but there aren’t many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. 1 Corinthians 4:15 (TM)
Saying "no" to every request, using your authority to control their every action and criticizing children for every mistake is easy. It’s harder and more time consuming to think through decisions, talk with your children about their decisions and actions, and forgive them when they blow it. I’ve worked hard as a father to help my children grow up. My job is to prepare them for life on their own. Part of that is to teach them what they’ve done well (so they can replicate it) and help them learn from their mistakes (so they can avoid it in the future). My kids will tell you I’ve been far from perfect, but I’ve consciously tried.
Churches, pastors, and spiritual teachers play the role of a parent, and they have the same choices to make as to how they will help those who follow to grow up. It’s much easier to control through authority, criticism and judgment than it is to lead with humility, grace and forgiveness. The cool thing, when it comes to churches, pastors and spiritual teachers, is that we have a choice.