Raised in a Christian home, Don grew up attending South Park Church in suburban Chicago. It was there as a high school student that he became a part of Son City, the churches high school ministry. From the beginning of his sophomore year to the completion of his freshman year in college, Son City grew from thirty students to more than a thousand. Don spent his freshman year at Taylor University where he intended to pursue his dream of one day coaching at a major college or university. During that first year at Taylor, Don sensed God’s call to redirect his life’s course from athletics to ministry. With Gods new calling on his heart, Don returned home after his freshman year to serve once again within Son City. During that very same summer of 1975, God began to work in the heart of Son City's Director Bill Hybels, planting in his mind the idea of starting a church that would reach the unchurched. In October of 1975 Willow Creek Community Church was born.
In November of 1975, Don joined Bill Hybels. During his tenure at Willow Creek, Don personally led the High School Ministry, College/Singles Ministry, Small Group Ministry, Children’s Ministry, and Administrative Ministries. As Associate Pastor he was also directly involved in launching and developing most of Willow Creek’s ninety sub-ministries, as he provided oversight for the churches paid staff. In addition, he taught at the midweek and weekend services.
After seventeen years on the staff at Willow Creek, God began to reveal a broader mission field to Don. In September of 1992, Don launched his own ministry designed to help build and strengthen Christian leaders and organizations. When describing his vision, Don said, “I wasn’t far off in the beginning when I decided to pursue a career in coaching – I was just playing on the wrong field. After 17 years of playing on the right field with a great team, perhaps God can now use me to help coach other teams playing in His league".
Since 1992 Don has been coaching Christian leaders within churches and para-church organizations. He has worked with start-ups as well as those reaching thousands. He has cut across denominational lines in both the evangelical as well as the charismatic arena's.
He now lives in Holland, Michigan with his wife MaryAnn and their three children, Kyle, Kirk, and Karalyne.