By: Heather Cox
Don Corder graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1991, after attending the University for his MBA.
While working toward his MBA, Corder was also working for General Motors. Following graduation he went into business until 2000, when he experienced what he described as a burning bush moment, and began working in a mega church.
“In 2000 I had my own consulting business, and I had a little consulting role they asked me to fix something for them and it was a real simple fix for a professional operations manager,” Corder said. “I went in and thought I was just gonna do a little consulting gig.”
However, six months into working at the church, Corder was named the Chief Operating Officer over the 50 million dollar ministry which employed 500 people, and was affiliated with 1200 churches across the nation.
“I left there in 2010,and I was about 50 years old so I thought, ‘Good! I have just enough time to get back in the industry to make some money so I can retire!’” Corder said. “God had a new plan for me. So I went and did a little administrative gig for a big methodist church.”
This church was in the process of hiring a new Executive Pastor, so in the meantime they had Corder temporarily sit in that position. When the Executive Pastor was hired, he had a vision for a shared services plan which would help neighboring churches as well. In this process, the church realized their family of churches was overpaying positions and unnecessarily replicating administrative functions.
“I began working with the church to develop something that would be effective and save our family of churches money,” Corder said. “Shortly thereafter, however, the church went through a few changes and essentially asked me if I would like to run with this new initiative separately from the church. I agreed, and that was the day that The Provisum Group was born.”
The Provisum Group offers business services such as Accounting & Financing, IT Administration & Support, and Communications & Marketing to church and non-profit ministry leaders.
Over the past three years since The Provisum Group began, Corder said they have grown tremendously without trying.
“It excites me to know that when a new church signs up for our services we are literally saving them money and helping to put more dollars to use towards the mission and vision,” Corder said.
Through working in both business and churches, Corder eventually ended up writing a book, titled “Minding His Business,” (reminder to ink) which was published in 2015.
“In business I did mergers, acquisitions, and turnarounds for years. Hardest, coldest, most analytical, relationship void part of business and then all of a sudden I’m managing churches,” Corder said. “I’m able to be able to cross that bridge, and I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’m passing on experience or wisdom and people have said to me ‘You need to write a book!’. And my response to that was, ‘Well, if God wanted me to write a book he wouldn’t have made me hate writing so much!’”
Eventually, Corder was introduced to a ministry that desperately needed a business plan but was unable to pay him for his work. Corder said he made a covenant with God years ago that he would treat each meeting with pastors as a divine appointment, so he knew he had to help with the ministry. It was then he found out there was a ghost writer who was a part of this ministry.
“It was just the Holy Spirit who said ‘Well, time to write the book!’ so I swapped them a business plan for a book,” Corder said.
Written specifically for those who are right brain thinkers, “Minding His Business” is essentially a business primer written similarly to a devotional and was purposefully written in a language that pastors can understand.
“My calling in my life is to take stones out of pastors shoes, and the book was written to take stones out of pastors shoes,” Corder said. “I don’t care how well any pastor runs his church. I couldn’t imagine a pastor reading that book and not finding one thing that could make his or her life easier. That’s the purpose of the book.”
Corder said his mission is to help churches do their business. “I get so much feedback from pastors and ministry leaders– how they both laugh and they cry because they see themselves on the pages,” Corder said.
“You see, experience and wisdom are different,” Corder said. “Experience can be painful. Experience is what you gain from something going well and/or when something goes wrong. Wisdom is what you gain from the experiences of others. It is just as helpful but less painful.”
Written by Heather Cox, writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!