Hi, my name is Aaron Waid, and I’m a Jesus follower. Like many people who have decided to follow the journey of knowing God, following Jesus has led me many places. I have a M.A. from Denver Seminary, and a M.A.J., specializing in Public Relations from Marshall University. I’m originally from West Virginia, and I’ve served as a pastor and family minister in Michigan and in Florida, where I’m presently on staff at First Church in Melbourne. I’m crazy about my wife, Alexis, who is the other writer here at Spiritually Hungry. We’ve been best friends since 2000, and I can’t even begin to imagine what life would look like without her.
I’m a lifelong musician and play a wide variety of instruments, but guitar (especially lead electric guitar) and banjo are my favorites. There’s lot of other interests that I have, from camping to amateur botany, but I consider most of them on hold right now while my son, Rhett, is a baby!
In ministry, I love preaching, leading classes and prayer groups, and conversation about theology and apologetics. Probably more than anything, though, I love to get to know people’s stories and see what there life has been like and where God can be found in their journey.
When people ask me about how I became a Jesus follower, I always point to my senior year of high school as the time when faith in Christ became real and life changing. In particular, there was one moment that year where, after reading passages from the Gospel of Matthew alone at 2 a.m., I encountered the true Jesus. At the time, I had not been part of a church, or any Christian organization, for years, nor did I have any actively Christian friends.
What did it feel like to run into the real, living Jesus? I didn’t have a vision, or hear a voice from the heavens. But I did experience my soul being spoken to for the first time – like my heart realized that it has eyes and ears that had always longed to be attuned to Jesus.
I’ve always thought that what I experienced that night must have been exactly what Peter felt in Luke 5:10, when Jesus calls him to follow and says, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will fish for men.” I think most people focus on the exciting “fishing for men” part of that passage, where Jesus tells Peter that he will bring along more followers, spread the Gospel, lead many people.
But for me, the most life changing thing has been the first part – the foundational part of Jesus’ words to Peter – “Do not be afraid.” Because that’s what it felt like when Jesus called me to follow him…my soul heard and saw for the first time, and those first words were, “Do not be afraid.”
I met Jesus for the first time only after reading a passage from a Bible given to my brother by a local church 10 years before that I randomly picked up in the middle of the night at age 17. No youth group, no retreat, no church. In what seemed completely out of the blue at the time, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” And I’ve spent the 18 years since then trying to understand exactly how Jesus’ initial words look like in my life.
So that’s a little about me, but hopefully it’s enough to explain why I do what I do, and why I married who I married, and to just let you know that I’m really eager to continue on this journey of understanding more fully what it means to turn away from the fear, and instead… just plunge deeper into the love of Jesus.