Once someone gets added to the roster, usually after the first visit, the highly effective leader will contact the person. This usually involves a short phone call thanking them for coming, asking how they liked the group, and inviting them to return. As these new ones come back and get connected to the group, the group grows.

We found the power of the principle of contacting when we started our church. We began with eleven people meeting in my basement, and the church grew to 100 in 6 months and 200 in 18 months. I called almost every family every week. I spend a few evenings a week and Saturday afternoon making these five-minute phone calls until the church got to an average attendance over 200. Then the five members of our leadership team divided the calling up between us. We found that the principle of contacting made the difference.

My two oldest sons started an evangelistic Bible study at their public school. They meet 45 minutes before school begins, every Wednesday morning. They gathered and grew the group to over 25 kids in a couple of months. Most of these kids are unchurched.

How did they do it? Every Tuesday, they talked to kids at school and every Tuesday night they got on the phone and made short phone calls. They found that the principle of contacting works. If they contacted their friends, they came, and if they did not contact them, they did not come.

My wife Cathy started a ladies small group recently. She grew and multiplied it into two groups in just a few weeks. How did she do it? She made a lot of phone calls and initiated many conversations with unconnected ladies at church. She understood the principle of contacting.

I lead a small group on Wednesday evenings. We have grown from a handful to nearly 30 people a week in a few months. How did we do it? We apply the principle of contacting. I contact new people, and my apprentices call all the attendees every week. If we contact them, they come.

— The 8 Habits of Effective Small Group Leaders┬áby Dave Earley