This fall, I took students to the Silver Ring Thing for the second year in a row. It's a relatively new event for my students so their excitement to go and their excitement afterwards was encouraging to me. Here are the top reasons I will take students to SRT again:
1) The topics of sex and dating never go away - youth workers and parents will ALWAYS have to address these topics - why not get some help from a ministry that focuses on this 24/7.
2) It was funny - so many moments for laughter were built into the program. That's important for this topic and my students found lots of humor in the videos, the speaker, and the drama.
3) It was fast-paced multi-media - for 2 hours the SRT program kept the students attention with videos (lots of funny commerical spoofs), dramas, personal testimonies, music clips, audience participation, and a great speaker.
4) The people on stage were young - let's face it, teenagers are going to hear the message of purity better from people closer to their age who are still waiting than from older married people who are having that desire fulfilled already. The presenters on stage were all around 20 and that seemed strategically planned - and it was powerful to hear them share their hearts.
5) They presented the Gospel - sure they were talking about sex, but there was also a clear presentation of the Gospel and how to begin a relationship with Christ. And many responded to the invitation. That was awesome!
6) Clever use of technology - several times students were encouraged to use their cell phones during the program including signing up for ongoing follow up from Silver Ring Thing. Love that!
7) The rings can be bought at the event - as the name implies, silver rings to symbolize their commitment to wait were available for students to buy right after the show. Immediate application of what they were learning through the event - this was powerful.
8) Road trip! It was an hour and a half for us to get there but who doesn't love a road trip? My students do, so that worked out well (plus we ate at Five Guys which ratchets up the level of awesome pretty quickly).
9) The price was right - for only $6 online or $8 at the door, you get a great experience. This is a blessing to budget strapped youth ministries.
10) This decision affects their whole lives! Their future spouse, their future kids, their future grandkids, and their very own souls are impacted by deciding to wait for sex until marriage. Next to deciding to follow up Jesus, this is the biggest life impacting decision that our kids our going to make so we need to do EVERYTHING we can to help them make the right decision now.
11) BONUS: The Silver Ring Thing is a nation-wide ministry conference that was born in Pittsburgh and is headquartered here! How cool is that? They've been doing this 20 years and we need to support our local ministry entrepreneurs!
Check out www.silverringthing.com to learn more