Silver Ring Thing abstinence program returns to Shelby

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Teaches teens with concert-like atmosphere

By Beth Herrinton-Hodge

The Silver Ring Thing is making a return to Shelby County after a one-year hiatus and organizers expect another to be a big event.

The event is sponsored by A Loving Choice Pregnancy Resource Center, which has brought Silver Ring Thing events to Shelbyville on previous occasions, most recently in 2012.

“This is our gift to the community,” explains Jan Antos, executive director of A Loving Choice. “Over 800 students attended our last event. They came from Shelbyville and from other counties. Some groups came by bus; others loaded up their church vans. They seemed to have such a blast.”

According to their website, “Silver Ring Thing is a ministry that reaches teens with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and inspires them to live a pure life.”

It describes Silver Ring Thing’s One Night Stand Tour, a multimedia, high-impact event that urges young people to take a stand for what God says about relationships. The event tagline: If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Event leaders talk about guys, girls, dating, waiting, love, second chances and the best choice – God’s choice. By the end of the event, young people are invited to make a commitment to live pure, abstinent lives until marriage. Teens may purchase a silver-tone ring that they wear to symbolize their purity pledge.

Organizers encourage young people from across Shelby County and beyond to attend alone, bring a friend, or attend with their church youth group. The one-night event is from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at Shelby Christian Church.

There are group discounts and reduced ticket prices for advanced ticket purchases – $5 per person in groups of 25 or more, $6 per person in advance, $8 at the door. Reservations are available online at SilverRingThing.com.

“Once again, we are partnering with Shelby Christian Church, who gives us a place to hold the event each time they come here,” Antos said. “We pray that many young people will come and hear the message of freedom that is given. That freedom can be found in an abstinent life. It’s a fun atmosphere where teens are able to see other young adults who have chosen to live pure lives. Young people can encourage one another to live a pure lifestyle much better than listening to adults alone.”

Adults, however, are welcome at the event.

As the young people are dancing, singing and learning in the large hall, Silver Ring Thing hosts a parent session from 7-7:45 p.m. in a quieter space in the church building, where they offer the same information to parents they share with the teens.

“Parents who attend the parent session have been very positive about the whole event,” says Seth Heller, youth minister at Shelby Christian Church. “They are given resources that help them talk to their kids about their hopes for relationships and waiting until marriage. Parents like that Silver Ring Thing reinforces the values that they’re trying to teach at home. It’s another voice that reinforces a Godly message.”

Heller expects that the youth program at his church will have 100-125 teens in attendance on Wednesday night.

“In the past few weeks, we’ve been focusing on relationships and the message of God’s desire for healthy lives and healthy choices,” he said.

The One Night Stand tour will be a culmination of a month-long program for Shelby Christian kids. The event reinforces the message Heller has been teaching his students.

“In working with teens, I’ve seen their lives touched by a lot of troubles, a lot of problems,” he said. “What causes the most problems for teens are their relationships. These seem to be the hardest issues to work with. The message given by Silver Ring Thing focuses on healthy relationships. We teach that it’s helpful to not do things. To stay away from activities that will mess up their lives. We encourage them to set up their lives for success, and that means to have healthy relationships, to stay pure.” 

Parents, teens and young adults are encouraged to attend Wednesday evening’s events, whether their church is bringing a group or not. It’s open to anyone in the community who wants to support teens growing up living pure lifestyles as followers of Jesus Christ.

For additional information about Silver Ring Thing or the One Night Stand Tour, check their event website silverringthing.com.

Silver Ring Thing

WHAT:A pro-abstinence presentation for teens and parents.

WHEN:7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday

WHERE:Shelby Christian Church

TICKETS:$5 per person in groups of 25 or more, $6 per person in advance, $8 at the door.