One America Voices: Daniel McIntosh

Written by: Daniel McIntosh

You and your family enjoy being outdoors and participating in outdoor activities. As a father to three young children, what is your advice for others who would like to involve their children in outdoor activities more? 

Involving your children in outdoor activities is not only a great way to bond as a family but also instill a love for nature and physical activity from a young age. Here are a few tips based on my experience as a father of three young children:

  • Start small: Begin with simple outdoor activities that match your children’s ages and interests. We have found that going on hikes as a family is an activity that spurs our kids to use their imaginations and have conversations about the world around them. Likewise, my wife enjoys gardening and invites our kids to pick out their favorite seeds, water them, and watch them grow. Those are a couple of ideas on how to start small.
  • Unplug and Disconnect: Encourage your children to disconnect from screens and technology during outdoor activities. This allows them to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
  • Encourage Curiosity: Let your children ask questions and explore their surroundings. Foster their natural curiosity by allowing them to discover and learn.

The goal is to create positive memories and associations with outdoor activities. By introducing your kids to the outdoors at a young age, you’re giving them the gift of a lifelong appreciation for nature.

As a former pastor of a non-denominational church, how do you feel that experience will translate to your role as an outreach manager? 

My experience as a former pastor has equipped me with skills that align well with the outreach manager position. Some of the qualities and insights that I have gained during my pastoral journey will help contribute to bridge-building with faith leaders in Northwest Arkansas. Here are a few examples:

  • Empathy and Understanding: Pastoral work demands a deep understanding of people’s emotions, beliefs, and struggles. This sensitivity translates into my role as an outreach manager, enabling me to approach conversations with empathy and truly listen to others’ perspectives.
  • Community Building: Pastors are community leaders responsible for nurturing a sense of building and togetherness. This experience has provided me with the tools to build inclusive environments that encourage dialogue and cooperation among diverse groups.
  • Facilitating Dialogue: My time as a pastor had me facilitating discussions on deep topics. This skill is transferable to creating safe spaces for interfaith dialogues, where individuals can engage in meaningful conversations about their beliefs and values.

Being a pastor for the last 18 years serves as a strong foundation for my role as an outreach manager. Both positions require empathy and the ability to foster unity among diverse individuals. Drawing on my pastoral experience, I’m excited to continue building bridges and cultivating relationships that transcend differences and promote unity within Northwest Arkansas.

What made you decide to join the One America Movement team? 

My decision to join the One America Movement team was driven by my conviction to build bridges and foster unity in our increasingly divided society. Having served as a pastor and experienced firsthand the power of bringing people together across differences, I saw a natural alignment between the organization’s mission and my personal values.

One America Movement’s dedication to bridging the divide and promoting understanding resonated with me on multiple levels. Having navigated the social unrest and polarization over the past few years in my church context, I recognized the urgent need for initiatives that counter division and promote collaboration among faith leaders.

Furthermore, One America Movement’s focus on grassroots efforts, community engagement, and interfaith collaboration strongly appealed to my background in community building. The emphasis on tangible actions and meaningful conversations aligned perfectly with my convictions that change occurs when individuals come together to learn, empathize, and work towards a common goal. Joining the One America Movement team was a natural progression for me, as it allowed me to channel my passion for unity, empathy, and bridge-building into a dynamic platform.

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