Wisconsin pastor saves marriages one joke at time
GREEN BAY - Mark Gungor is not a psychologist or neurologist. But, this Wisconsin pastor's message on how the brain works is a hit.
"You talk to most guys and they are pretty happy in their marriages," Gungor told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray. "Most women are going crazy. I think that's a problem."
As Pastor Mark Gungor tells his story, other church leaders told him he was too outrageous, over the top and goofy to preach on Sundays.
"I originally started doing marriage counseling at my church because no one else wanted to do it."
This Green Bay minister has become one of most sought-after marriage speakers in the world.
"There was a period in my life where I went 17 years plus and never preached one sermon. Nobody wanted to hear anything," he recounted. "Now, I'm traveling all over the world speaking to millions of people live at these conferences."
At two-day 'Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage' conferences, Gungor tells attendees that men like to keep things separate.
"We've got a box for the job. We've got a box for you. We've got a box for the kids. We've got a box for your mother somewhere in the basement," he says.
Women, he says, interconnect everything.
"The money is connected to the car. The car is connected to your job and the kids are connected to your mother," he says as the audience responds with laughter.
Gungor is senior pastor at Celebration Church, a multi-campus organization based in Green Bay.
His DVDs are in demand and he has written several books.
Gungor does not give couples a long to-do list. Rather, he simply says husbands and wives will be happier once they understand how the other side thinks.
"A lot of these marriage seminars come in from the perspective that the women's perspective is right. That's why most men hate these things," Gungor explains. "When you start to get people to understand why they are acting the way they act, it immediately lowers the temperature from attack and defense to understanding and acceptance."
Mark and Debbie Gungor have been married for more than four decades. They travel to conferences together. She remembers those early church marriage classes.
"They wanted to hear about marriage," Debbie said. "They wanted to hear about sex. They wanted to hear about all these things, but nobody was teaching it. Nobody was saying it."
Pastor Gungor has upcoming marriage conferences in Texas, Florida, Nebraska and Canada. No Wisconsin dates on the schedule.