Reaching the Summit Testimonies

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Click the links below to view video testimonies of church members and pastors who have experienced the Reaching the Summit process.

Mansfield Baptist Church

Milstead Baptist Church

Grace Baptist Church    

East Newton Baptist Church

Celebration Service Stone Mountain Baptist Association May 2014

Written Testimonies

Not enough to has been written on declining churches and how to fix them! George Yates does an amazing job in this very difficult area. Read this book! posted on
Tom Cheyney, Founder & Directional Leader, Renovate National Church Revitalization Conference

This book is the best simple explanation of understanding church decline. Applying the principles in this books not only help diagnose the issues and start the processes of recovery with the assistance of an outside consultant.
Short enough and simple enough for any church leader to complete. I suggest it be used with a church leadership team ( church council, deacon body, etc). Submitted by Amazon customer

Easy reading. Practical and biblically grounded advice on how to detect and reverse decline – in vision, passion, direction, cooperation, spiritual growth, etc. – in the church so that God alone can be glorified. Definitely a must-read for anyone in the church and a must-follow for any leader in the church. Kaly Tong, posted on

Through the Reaching the Summit process God has used this to challenge me in the area of a clear vision for the church. Because of this process I began to realize that our church had settled for what had become normal to us, (i.e. apathy, complacency, and low expectations) I realize that our church lacks a clear vision. This process has personally challenged me to seek God for his vision for the church.
During this process so far God has blessed in remarkable ways. We have experienced:

  • new leaders being trained and participating in the work of the church
  • a serious examination of our churches vision
  • multiple new members/families
  • eight baptisms  Phillip Bone, Pastor, Porterdale, GA (5 months into the process)

Just wanting to pass on some great news. Two more people received Christ this Sunday. They will be baptized this Sunday. That is 16 people since May of this year. To God Be the Glory! Tom Lee, Pastor, Covington, GA – A Reaching the Summit Church that had not baptized 10 people in the past 10 yrs. 

This is an excellent book for Pastors and leaders in small church situations, especially if that small church has been around and been a small church for a long time. The author seems to comprehend that there are a number of reasons for decline in a church, and unlike some denominational speakers, etc. doesn’t spend a lot of time playing the blame game. Rather than pointing a finger at the pastor and leadership, he points at the problems and quickly moves on to positive suggestions for empahsis to correct those problems.

I especially appreciated one point he made about pastors needing to LEAD rather than MANAGE!

Almost every conference I attend on reversing the decline of the local church tends to emphasize two things– Either close the doors and start over OR change the leadership. In this book, Yates talks about how we need to change the mindset of the people.

A wonderful book, with lots of practical suggestions, applications and personal anecdotes. Almost any pastor would be helped by this book.

David, Carson, CA (posted at


Thank you for coming and teaching your book, “Reaching the Summit”. All who attended are still talking about how amazing this conference was in helping their church with the issues that they are currently facing. What is so refreshing and unique about this book, is how it speaks to lay leaders in a way that is motivating and simple to put into action. It clearly identifies practical steps to move forward to a future that is full of God’s blessings.

I have read many books on this subject. Usually if you are not a professional, the subject can be very technical and lose the simplicity of its application in the local church context. On the contrary, your writing is so interesting that it lights a fire in leadership for strategic change in the church sets it up for a strong future. Tim Logerquist, Director of Missions, Gold Coast Baptist Association


“It sounds like the book is based on FBC…..!!!!  All our leaders have a copy and are in the process of reading it now……pray that God might mightily use it to help us get moving in the right direction…We should have George speak in all our churches!!!” Frank Barton, pastor, FBC Santa Barbara, CA

“I started reading ‘Reaching the Summit’ tonight and I love it. Wow, it’s like you know (my church). I’m only in chapter two and my mind is reeling.” Jacqui, CA

Straight-forward, honest, practical!  This book is a down-to-earth analysis of why so many churches are in decline – and what to do about it.  Books like this, written by practitioners who have actually lead churches to healthy growth are far more significant than treatises by armchair experts who only criticize the church.  If you are in a declining church, read this book and put its insights into practice.  God wants your church to thrive and tools like this will facilitate that process. Dr. Jeff Iorg, President, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary


Is your church truly healthy or would an honest assessment reveal otherwise?  Many pastors and leaders, believing their church to be healthy, should read this book as a guide for honestly assessing current reality.  George Yates, the author, clearly and practically identifies the phases of church decline and presents them in such fashion that they can be used as evaluation inquiries for church leaders.  George also offers clear strategies for addressing critical issues that contribute to church decline based on his years of experience serving and assisting churches coupled with his studies in church health.    The readers will be challenged to examine their church in light of the Biblical mandate of reaching the lost and making disciples. Larry W. Fillingim, Director of Missions, Noonday Baptist Association, Marietta, GA


This book is dangerous in the hands of a ministry leader who believes that the church can be more than a weekly religious event. It describes the symptoms of the ailing church and gives sound ministry counsel as to finding the cure. The risk is in revealing the honest congregational answer to the question Jesus posed long ago, “Do you want to get well?” I have personally observed George wisely coaching churches to confront their realities and move toward their dreams. The church has never had a better friend. Dr. Michael Stewart, Director of Missions, Central Coast Baptist Association


Reversing Decline in the Church hits on all pistons. George has given us rock-solid understanding and action plans that flow from his life-long journey into God’s Word, his years in local church ministry and consulting churches, and his passion for Christ’s bride. Even if your church isn’t in decline, you’ll want to read this book. It will keep you from arriving there. Rick Howerton, Small Group Specialist, LifeWay


George Yates who taught us how to practice teaching that would bear fruit has now given us a book that will help turn the declining church around.  With 80% of evangelical churches plateaued or declining this is a much needed work. Dr. Ken Hemphill, Director of Center for Church Planting and Revitalization, North Greenville University


George has hit a home-run with this excellent book that deals with a problem that every church has or will encounter.  His explanation of what causes the decline is right on with what I have observed in working with hundreds of churches through the years.  His simple, helpful tips to turning the church around are workable in any size church.  Unfortunately in the world today more churches are declining or plateaued than are growing and vibrant.  If the leaders of a church would take this simple, little book and apply the principles found in it,  they could see some fantastic growth take place in the future.  Thanks George, for reminding us of those basics that have worked so well through the years. Larry Vowell, Collin Baptist Association, McKinney, Texas


Across North America you can find churches that are on the edge. They are not always on the cutting edge and unfortunately not on the edge of breakthrough.  They are finding themselves on the edge of DECLINE.  George Yates  has provided a “heads up” for the church of today in his book; “Reaching the Summit Here is a book that guides church leaders through honest evaluation to determine where they are and where they are headed. You are not without hope.  The book prescribes critical keys for reversing course and leading the church into a healthy and thriving future.  This book is not just for the struggling leader.  Read it from wherever you are in your leadership journey to keep you congregation away from the edge of faltering to a firm foundation of health.  Dr. Steve R. Parr, Author of Sunday School that Really Works and Sunday School That Really Responds


“Practical, relevant, helpful, spiritually insightful, and encouraging are all words that describe this book.  Pastors of declining churches are often so discouraged that they experience ministry paralysis.  The paralysis only feeds into the decline of their church and more often than not persuades them that leaving is the only solution.  George Yates presents a case that will encourage the pastor to stick around long enough to personally lead the church out of decline.  Both pastor and church benefit from the lessons learned.  The principles and prescriptions found in this book will give hope and practical instruction to every pastor.  Rather than offering a list of possible changes, you’ll find instruction on honestly evaluating the situation as well as preparing a strategic solution to your own specific situation.” Dr. Michael Landry, Senior Pastor
Sarasota Baptist Church, Sarasota, FL


George Yates has a passion to see churches grow.  His new book is a must read for all those who are burdened by the decline in attendance and effectiveness of the American church.  You will discover practical insights into not only why a church begins to decline but the factors that will reverse that slide and lead the church back to health and kingdom growth.  This helpful book represents years of consulting experience by a seasoned practitioner who has been in the trenches.   I highly recommend this book in order to help you and your church catch a new vision for reaching people and making a difference in your community. Mike  James, Pastor, Pinckard Baptist Church, KY


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And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
2 Timothy 2:2