Many churches and religious organizations have a facebook page.  You can follow man ministry leaders on Twitter.  Other social networking sites offer a number of Christian ministry choices to view.

  But many small church leaders have to be asking "Is it worth the trouble?"  Small church pastors tend to be over extended already.  Maintaining a facebook site or tweeting your latest theological thoughts seems like a lot to ask for someone with limited time.

  You have to consider the bigger picture.  It is true that the larger congregations will likely see more results in less time using social media.  But isn't that true of just about any other outreach program?  For example, if a large church and a small one both implement the same evangelistic program (such as Evangelism Explosion), won't the larger group see more results in less time?  Of course they will.

  So it would be a good idea for small church pastors to take a look at the opportunities available on the internet.  This is one more opportunity to get your church's name out there, to let people know you exist, to let them know what you are doing.  It is another chance to let them hear your message.

  Communication is so important in today's world.  People need to be in touch.  No where is this more pressing than in the church.  Small churches especially need to have their fingers on the pulse of their community.  They need to hear and be heard and social networks are one of the avenues that can make that happen.

  Jerry Falwell once spoke of reaching his town by "Saturation Evangelism."  He meant using radio, tv, newspapers, and any other means to get his church's message to the community.  Making use of the many internet options available to today's church is in keeping with this idea.  It gives you one more outlet to reach the people in your town.

  Which social network should your church use?  That's something you'll have to look at and experiment around with.  The people our small church reaches tend to lean toward Facebook.  Other groups prefer Twitter or MySpace.  Ask around and find out what venue will help you minister to the folks in your area. 

  Don't shy away from this idea just because it is relatively new or because no one in your church currently messes with social networks.  These things are not going away--why not add it as another ministry tool to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ?