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Sharon Hodde Miller is an author, speaker and church planter who is passionate about cultivating the gifts of women through ministry. In addition to leading Bright City Church in Durham, NC with her husband Ike, she has released two books: Why Life is Better When it’s Not about You (2017), and Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked and How God Calls Us to More (2019). Join me to hear Sharon’s wisdom about the power of our words, speaking with bold conviction, and how we can change our “nice” habits into substantive kindness.
Sharon decided to pursue a doctoral degree in Educational Studies to find out what motivates women to go to seminary when so few women are in seminary.
After working in ministry from some time, Sharon realized that women build platforms from their stories. Sharon felt that the best way to be a good steward of her platform was to pursue formal theology education and training.
After finishing seminary at Duke Divinity School, where the gender breakdown was fairly even, she pursued a PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity school, where there were far fewer women.
Sharon made it her mission to figure out what was working for women who were already studying to earn a Master of Divinity degree.
Most of Sharon’s research came from STEM fields, and the common thread for both women in STEM and the ministry field was that someone identified their passions and encouraged them to think about pursing them.
It can be rewarding to be the “nice Christian girl.” Sharon recognized quickly that she earned a lot of praise this way, but started questioning whether she was honoring Jesus, or seeking the good feelings for herself.
She noticed this question creeping back up again as she became involved in ministry. She sees it now when she feels the Holy Spirit prompting her to write about something difficult or controversial.
People love hearing about spiritual discussions that help them through their private life, but many people don’t like controversial topics pertaining to what Jesus speaks about in the bible.
Sharon’s most recent book NICE came to be when she started examining these questions centered around the nice Christian girl image that looks like the real thing but is motivated by something else.
Jesus talks about knowing a tree by its fruit. It’s important to know the bad fruits of niceness. We also have to be careful not to reward people for the same bad fruits.
Find out something about Sharon that you’d never guess about her, her guilty (or not-so-guilty) pleasure, and what books she’s reading right now. Be sure to stay tuned to hear Sharon’s wise words about what it means to her to run a business with purpose.
Sharon leads Bright City Church in Durham, NC with her husband, Ike. She writes, travels around the country speaking at churches and conferences each year, and holds a PhD on women and calling. Sharon is the author of two books: Free of Me: Why Life Is Better When It’s Not about You, and Nice: Why We Love to Be Liked, And How God Calls Us to More.
Sharon lives in North Carolina with her husband and 3 young children. To read more of her writing, you can visit her site, SheWorships.com, and you can connect with her on Instagram at @sharonhmiller.
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