Emerge held its first Empower Weekend workshops with a lesson on how the mind can be maximized.
More than 800 youths gathered over the weekend of Aug. 3 and 4 at the Emerge Empower Weekend. Held over two sessions, the workshop aimed to educate the youths of City Harvest Church on the importance of academic excellence.
The speaker, Kenny Low, is the founder and CEO of City College, social enterprise O School and Little Big Pre-school. He has spearheaded internationally recognized efforts to help students who are not able to excel in the mainstream school system get another shot at quality education.
Speaking the language of the youth, Low used funny anecdotes and illustrations to remind his audience that each of them has a “beautiful mind” and thus, if they put their mind to good use, they have the potential to do well in school and ultimately, in life.
He started by sharing a story from the Bible in Judges 20:18-48. A man in the tribe of Benjamin had committed sin against his brothers from the tribe of Levi and the tribes of Israel wanted to seek justice. The Israelites thus went to war against the tribe of Benjamin three times, and before each time they would pray to the Lord and asked for guidance. However, they still failed.
While many would read this story and marvel at the Israelites’ spiritual tenacity and obedience to the Lord despite their failures, Low related the story in a different light. He shared that the Israelites had failed in battle three times, not because they did not pray enough, but because they simply did not prepare nor strategize!
“Do not be deceived. If you don’t study, you don’t need a prophet to tell you that you will fail!” declared Low.
“Using your mind is not an unspiritual thing. It doesn’t mean you have less faith. Jesus says to have child-like faith, not a child-like mind,” he added.
Low also taught the young people that God’s destiny for their life was relational to the capacity of their minds.
“What kind of mind are you offering to the Lord to work through?” he asked.
Moses could write the first five books of the Bible and lead a large group of Hebrews out of Egypt because he was educated in the Pharaoh’s palace as a child. Jesus could argue and debate with the Pharisees because He loved to listen to the teachings in the synagogue from the time He was a child.
Low went on to share three key truths about the mind:
1) You have a beautiful mind
Contrary to the widespread belief that humans only use 10 to 20 percent of the brain, Low pointed out that studies have shown that most people have full access to their brain.
He gave the example of an American girl Cameron Mott who suffered from Rasmussen’s Syndrome. Her parents decided to let her go through a surgery leaving her with only half her brain. Her brain, however, was able to re-wire itself and functioned normally. Mott went on to do well in school and became a ballet teacher.
“If Cameron can do it with half a brain, all of you can do it!”
2) Mindset determines growth
There are no stupid people, only people with unproductive thinking. “That is why the Apostle Paul says to renew our mind,” Low said.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Similarly, the key to intelligence growth is one’s mindset. Low encouraged the young people to maximize their usage of the talents God gave them to their fullest potential.
3) Growth comes through work
Showing a video of how the movie character Rocky trained to build up his muscles for his boxing matches, Low explained that growth, be it the muscles or the brain, comes only through hard work.
Youths in attendance told City News that they benefited greatly from the session and learned many principles that they could apply in their studies.
Tan Hwee Jing, 16, a student from Temasek Junior College, said, “I learned that we have full access to our brain and we should expand its capacity. I also learned that we must have a growth mindset, and that our brain only grows when it is being challenged! All in all, it was a very meaningful session!”