Series Introduction: Everyday Life of the Ordained


Ever wondered about the everyday, ordinary life of an Anglican priest?

Deacon Tish Harrison Warren asks Anglican Pastor Thomas McKenzie those questions you’ve always wanted to ask—but maybe were afraid to.


Here is her description of what she is up to:

I am getting ordained in March and have the great gift of Fr. Thomas being, not only my husband’s and my friend and former priest, but also our official diaconal supervisor.

I realized I have a bunch of really pragmatic questions, things that are kind of in the realm of those in ministry and liturgy wonks that would never be something that would come up in a sermon or a book of theology.

I wanted to interview Thomas about all this day-to-day mundane priestly ordinariness and he was nice enough to let me.

Everyday Life of the Ordained: Series Overview

Here’s an overview of the entire series, with links to each post.

  • Part 1: Wearing a Collar

    • When do you wear a collar and when do you not? How do you decide?
    • Is there anything that you wouldn’t do in a collar that you would do otherwise (example: like smoking cigarettes)? Why or why not?
  • Part 2: Let’s Talk Vestments

    • Some lower church Anglicans are moving away from vestments while Anglo-Catholics have very strong feelings about particular priestly dress in the service. How have you decided what you wear on Sunday?
    • How about censers? You rarely use one. Why is that?
  • Part 3: Time, Life, and Family

    • You take off Fridays. Many other pastors take off Mondays. Why do you take off a day a week and how did you pick Fridays?
    • Are there work-hour boundaries or other “rules” you’ve put in place to keep a semblance of work-life balance or do you think that’s impossible with pastoral work?
    • In the years of little ones—you know when your kids were sick all the time and didn’t sleep at night and you had very young kids, how did you maintain sanity at home as someone in ministry?
  • Part 4: Let’s Talk Money

    • When you are a new minister or a church planter how do you decide an appropriate salary for a clergy person? How do you walk the line of being appropriately simple and not greedy but also not wanting your family to fear financial ruin if they get extra whip cream on their lattes (or whatever)?
    • As a church planter, how did you determine your salary?
    • Generally, how do clergy think well about their personal financial lives?
  • Part 5: The Pastor’s Personal Life

    • Should a pastor talk about his/her financial life or sex life or marital struggles publicly ever?
    • I’ve heard from some clergy say that you can’t or shouldn’t be close friends with parishioners. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
    • Can pastors be friends with people of the opposite sex? How have you and your wife decided what your boundaries will be for meeting with parishioners of the opposite sex or staff of the opposite sex? Why have you set those particular boundaries?

Everyone who is preparing for ordained ministry would benefit from this type of discussion. I’m looking forward to reading the answers. Some of them I’m kind of glad I don’t have to answer!

Tish Harrison Warren

Tish is a transitional deacon in the Anglican Church in North America. She and her husband Jonathan work with InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministries at The University of Texas at Austin and have two young daughters. Tish writes regularly for The Well, Intervarsity’s online magazine for women. She has also written for Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics and was featured on the White Horse Inn. She’s newly on twitter @Tish_H_Warren.

Thomas McKenzie

Fr Thomas is a writer at Anglican Pastor.  He is married and has two school-aged children, and serves as the first Pastor of Church of the Redeemer, Nashville. Thomas is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. His Master’s Degree in Divinity is from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA. He was ordained in the Anglican Communion in 1998. He writes and is a contributor to  He also does the One Minute Review.  Follow him on Twitter @ThomasMckenzie. He is an insightful and honest writer, and is passionate about strong, faithful, and healthy church communities.

Published on

March 4, 2014


The Anglican Pastor

A classic resource from the founding team of Anglican Compass.

View more from The Anglican Pastor


Please comment with both clarity and charity!

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments