In the church’s quest to help people find and respond to their calling, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more dedicated champion than author, speaker, and Exponential co-founder Todd Wilson. Over the course of seventeen years of ministry, Wilson has used his entrepreneurial know-how to create a raft of organizations, systems, and publications designed to help leaders find their “sweet spot” and provide local churches with tools for deep-rooted, multiplication-driven growth.
Before all that, though, Wilson was up to something else entirely: nuclear engineering. In fact, he worked for the Division of Naval Reactors for a full fifteen years before feeling a call to full-time ministry—a call that emerged, he says, from an early and prolonged midlife crisis:
I looked ahead and said, “I’ve got a lot of years left, and is this what I’m going to do with the rest of my life?”. . . I was about 15 years into my career, doing well, conquering hills, and looking ahead and saying, “Boy, I’ve got another 20 to 25 years left, am I just going to keep doing more of the same, more of this hill-conquering?” And the closer you get to that mid-career point, especially when you get to the point where you realize, “I have less years left than I’ve had working so far,” that’s what creates that perfect storm of a midlife crisis for people, where they’re starting to see the clock ticking down. . . And I think that, in both healthy and in unhealthy ways, produces a churn. . .And that’s what was happening to me in my early thirties. I had really risen quickly in promotions and had gotten into this wrestling match with God. About two years into it, ...1