Devoree, a long-time youth ministry colleague of mine, recently shared a cool idea for inviting teens to explore the intersection between their music and their prayer life. Devoree write:
We tried something new with the youth. For a time of sharing joys and concerns within the worship setting we gathered the youth in a circle and asked them to think about their week. We then asked them to reflect on their highs and lows and share a song that reflected those feelings. The response was good. Some said lyrics, some mentioned a mood, some said the style [of the song] represented how they were feeling that week. One had more than one song fitting the bill. The others responded to the sharer with nods and recognition. It was a good reflective piece allowing another way to communicate. In general music is important to youth. Even if you don't listen to the same music, it is sometimes easier to understand a feeling when expressed in terms of beat, style, poetry etc.
Dev suggests that you could extend this idea by inviting youth to think about music in terms of their faith and how the music and lyrics resonate with their understanding of the sacred. Another extension of this activity could involve inviting just one youth a week to bring in a song to play for the group -- a song that connects with their faith, their understanding of God, their doubts and fears, their joys. Spend time listening to the song together and reflecting on its content as a group, looking for God in each person's weekly gift of music.