The Mid-Life Issue

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Research reveals three main development paths for leaders over their lifetime:

1.  Flourishing.  Only a minority of adults get here – and yet everyone yearns for it.

2.  Floating.  Your strengths and instincts got you into deep waters of influence and responsibility. Now what?

3.  Frustrated.  Research shows that while most leaders start well, not many end well.  Somewhere around the age of 40 most people plateau in their life and leadership and if left unchecked this can lead to further difficulty.

At mid-life we feel deep within a stirring that whispers to us that there is more. You do not have to plateau.  You can move into a place of maximum effectiveness.


These stirrings are common to all mid-life adults.  They come from God who whispers to us that there is something more.  This is a time for deep reflection that begins in our hearts.  We look back to see what God has done and then look forward with a belief that the future does not need to look exactly like the past.  We can enter this mid-life window with a spirit of anticipation, looking to discover anew the dreams that God has placed in our hearts.

The Cause of Floating

The cause of this mid-life flat-line is what CREST calls “the ceiling of complexity.” Between family, career, and volunteer work, life has become full, producing what becomes for most mid-life people an overwhelming sense of busyness and frustration. At the same time there are critical shifts happening that push us into new territory. Consider:

  • Your physical body is slowing down
  • Children are leaving home
  • Your responsibilities have broadened
  • Your are experiencing the consequences of a lifetime of choices
  • There are changes in the environment around you


The cumulative result of these shifts produce for everyone a ‘mid-life challenge,’ and for some a ‘mid-life crisis.’


There are some who break through the complexity to flourish.  They have made significant shifts and adapted such that they are able to move into their “sweet spot,” where gifting, passion and circumstances converge into Maximum Effectiveness.

The Potential of the Second Half

The good news for mid-lifers is that flourishing typically happens after age 40.  The second half of life has the most potential.  People at mid-life have experience, a network of connections, and assets that, if properly aligned, can propel them into the best years of their life.

Mid-lifers in the developed world have the additional privilege of

  • a longer average lifespan
  • advanced health support
  • more material assets than most other cultures


This means that after 40 there is potential for increased effectiveness, or even another entire career.  Modern mid-lifers are able to do something that most former generations could never dream of.  They are able to imagine a preferred life, and actually experience it.

For Christians, this dream, or call, connects directly with Kingdom purpose.  What gives most significance and satisfaction is when we can give back and help people.  The sweet spot is where the world’s need, your heart’s deepest desires, and your skills meet.

The Move to Flourishing

This move is not automatic.  To move toward a significant second half an intentional process must be engaged.  That is exactly what CREST provides.

We have worked with mid-life leaders for over a decade and have found an effective way to help people find clarity at mid-life. We’ll help you discover the map that takes you to flourishing as a resilient leader. It is not a quick fix; it is a journey that one must take with intentionality. Most people greatly benefit with help from second-half guides who are just a bit ahead of you on the same journey. Failure to address these mid-life shifts can have unhealthy consequences. Make sure you don’t go there.

By taking the challenge seriously and refusing to accept a floating trajectory, mid-life can be the launch pad for your most productive years.

“CREST has been a journey of God revealing his heart for me and my heart to my self.  I am not the same person I was two years ago.  I am more me!  The material, the instructors, the people of the cohort, the interaction and transparency of all had been transformational reading.  It has made noticeable change.  People are seeing a more authentic, transparent, and courageous person in me.  I am so thankful to God for the ways he has used CREST in my life.  I could never have anticipated the change.”  ~Steve Vaughan, pastor~