I spent last week (August 3-7) with our Senior High Youth Group at a Christian Music event called "Kingdom Bound 2008". This event has happened in Western New York for over 20 straight years. It features Christian bands, workshops, dynamic worship with a major theme park in the middle. Our youth attend every year, have a great time, build community and reconnect with God.
I have my favorites and then try to listen to what the kids are listening to. My favorites, Robin Mark, Paul Baloche, Big Daddy Weave and others were all there either on the main stage or leading worship in the worship tent. They were up to billing. Down on the park stage (where the head bangers and heavier music prevails) I allowed myself some time to listen to a group called "Skillet" who did some serious head banging in the name of Jesus. They were a favorite of the majority of our youth group and, frankly, I found them to be quite good musically. Of course, being an "old guy" I listened from a hill side about 1/4 mile away and they sounded great from there. I suspect my ears would still be ringing (a week later) if I had dared to approach the stage. (It is tough to get old but I refuse to turn into my father's generation who constantly complained that the music was "too loud!")
What matters here is that our youth got to hear a style of music they like by Christian musicians who were telling, singing and drawing attention to Jesus. For some of us, the focus on Jesus was immediate and obvious, for others it may have taken a while to settle in but it was there nonetheless.
Look for me at Kingdom Bound 09. : )