Larry Kroon is pastor of Wasilla Bible Church in Wasilla, Alaska. If that sounds vaguely familiar, it’s the home church of former Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. As such, the church and Kroon faced an onslaught of reporters during last year’s campaign.
Journalists were roving the aisles of the church, harassing members and trying to find an inside scoop on Palin. Members felt trapped by the satellite trucks blocking the way to the parking lot.
“We can look back and say, ‘Whoa. We really should have done this or that differently,’” Kroon told religion reporter Terry Mattingly. “I was naive enough to think this wasn’t going to affect us–but it did. We ended up scrambling to get from day to day. We had that deer-in-the-headlights look for quite a while.”
When things calmed down Kroon called in a professional to help him sort out how he should have handled the situation. He came up with seven tips to help pastors deal with reporters.
“Pastors need to understand that there are really good reporters and there are some really bad ones, too,” Kroon said. “You also have to understand that even the really good ones are going to push you to your boundary lines. That’s what they do.”