The Silver Ring Thing (SRT), a unique para-church youth ministry that promotes the message of purity and abstinence, in partnership with FirstLook Medical Clinic in Waxahachie made its two-hour presentation to a room full of young people Saturday night.

A total of 459 people made their way into the Schaeffer Life Center on the campus of Southwestern Assemblies of God University to engage in a power-packed performance by the SRT team. The performance consisted of high energy music, special effects, fast-paced videos, personal testimonies and comedy delivered in a concert-style approach with which teenagers could respond and relate.

The program also presents an evangelistic message focused on forgiveness and second chances with a challenge to start over from past mistakes. Students who make a commitment to purity may purchase a silver ring as a symbol and reminder of their decision.

Several young people chose to make the commitment to remain pure until marriage, and chose to talk about why.

Chesney Moyer is a tenth grader at Maypearl High School. She said the reason she chose to go to the event was because it sounded interesting, but she was expecting it to be somewhat boring.

“I didn't really know what it was going to be like,” Moyer said. “I thought it would be boring, but it wasn't. It was actually a lot of fun.”

Throughout the event, the SRT team showed commercials to reiterate the importance of saving oneself for marriage. Moyer said her favorite part about the show were the commercials.

“Their commercials were really cool,” she said. “They were original, funny and they made you think.”

She said it was a combination of personal testimonies by SRT team members and the commercials that led her to make the decision to wear a purity ring.

“Remaining pure until marriage is the right thing to do,” she said. “Why would you not wait for the right person to come along? Besides, it's the way God wanted it to be.”

Moyer said knowing what she knows now about the SRT movement, she would take every opportunity to encourage all of her friends to attend an event.

“I know they would love it, because it's very funny, informative and it's a good time,” she said.

Although the event is designed for teenagers, parents and youth pastors are also encouraged to attend a special parent session. The session is held at each event to educate parents about what is happening in today's youth culture and how they can encourage and support their child's commitment.

Chief Executive Officer of FirstLook Donna Young sat in on the parent session, and was very encouraged by the number of parents who chose to participate in this event.

“I was happy to see so many parents and youth leaders gathered in that room,” Young said. “It is critical for parents to be involved in these efforts because they are the key to their children staying committed.”

Young said that is one of the things the SRT team members stressed as they talked with parents.

“They stressed the importance of communication,” she said. “Communication with your child about theses matters not only involves talking, but listening as well.”

As they discussed the parents' role in this commitment, Young said a staggering statistic was brought out that shattered what most people think as it pertains to abstinence.

“For the longest time, teenagers have used the excuse that 'everybody is doing it,'” she said. “Well one of the things brought to our attention that night is that not 'everybody is doing it.' A recent poll released that at least 40 percent of teenagers have chosen abstinence instead of engaging in sex. So not everyone is having sex outside of marriage.”

Young said this is a very important message that needs to broadcast, because young people need to know that it's a decision they can make and stand on that decision.

“One of the things I learned during this session was that parents have the most influence on their children when it comes to sex,” she said. “Most parents believe that a child's friends have that power of influence, but it's not true. If parents would be intentional about their conversations with their children, I believe they will see the amount influence they have on their child.”

Young said that bringing SRT to Waxahachie was the first step in combating abstinence. She said it's their mission to educate young people and help them make better decisions for their future.

“It's all about prevention,” she said. “We believe having SRT come to Waxahachie, and promoting more activities like this in our community through partnerships with churches and schools are going to serve as excellent preventative measures.”

As the clinic moves forward with its educational advances, Young said one of the things they will be instituting is a sexually transmitted disease clinic once a month.

“We can't just stop here,” Young said. “We must keep the conversation going and this is one of the ways we're going to go about it.”

After each event, students are given an opportunity to not only make a commitment to remain pure, but to follow Christ. Executive Assistant and Director of Development Graham Hicks said their were a total of 189 commitments and recommitments to Christ that night.

“This event was about more than encouraging abstinence,” Hicks said. “It was about seeing kids come to Christ. So while making a commitment to remain pure was important, the most important decision being made that night was to follow Christ.”

Those who make this commitment are followed-up by SRT staff with emails and text messages that encourage and equip them in their commitment.

For more information about SRT, visit silverringthing.com. For more information about FirstLook Medical Clinic, call Graham Hicks at 972-938-7900 or visit firstlookclinic.com.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.