Joyful disciples

A study of a missing link in considering spiritual disciplines and corporate missional habits


  • Mike Harrison



joy, spiritual disciplines, formation, character, neuroscience


This essay takes up some suggestions for Christian formation found in the ‘Life Model’, a contemporary ecumenical project proposing attachment with God, inner healing prayer and healthy interpersonal relationships as key ele­ments to promote psychological and spiritual change. In particular the sig­nificance of joyful relationship with God is considered, along with practices to cultivate this joyful relationship. Two practices are described which foster joyful attachment and thus provide ways in which character is shaped to enable Chris­tian formation. However it is acknowledged that such formation also depends for its full flourishing on other factors such as healthy ecclesial community and relational brain skills. The essay concludes by suggesting that joy-generating practices which can be developed as easily pass-on-able habits are a promising avenue by which to further enable Christian formation.

Author Biography

Mike Harrison

Suffragan bishop of Dunwich in the diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich in the Church of England. Before this Mike was Director of Mission & Ministry in Leicester diocese for 10 years and previously was a parish priest, most of his ministry being in South London. His doctoral studies were in the field of doctrine and his interests include Christian formation and leadership for Christian formation.




How to Cite

Harrison, Mike. 2022. “Joyful Disciples: A Study of a Missing Link in Considering Spiritual Disciplines and Corporate Missional Habits”. Ecclesial Futures 3 (1):79-94.