Youth Group at Home during COVID-19

Youth Group at Home during COVID-19

By Grace Thornton

The Alabama Baptist

As soon as Andy Blanks realized youth groups weren’t going to be able to meet for a while, he knew he wanted to help keep Wednesday nights going.

So he launched something called Youth Group at Home — a livestreamed message that students could watch at home on Wednesday nights at 7, then get on a Zoom call with their youth group and leaders to discuss.

“We wanted to do something to meet a need,” said Blanks of his ministry, YM360. At first, it was only meant to be four weeks, but when the shelter-in-place order was extended, he decided to keep going for at least another month.

Blanks, a member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, said he hopes it’s a help for youth ministries all over, especially smaller churches whose youth volunteers or bivocational youth ministers are already stretched thin during the COVID-19 crisis.

‘Thoughtful discussion’

“Whatever we can do to help, it’s truly a privilege,” he said.

Alison Matthews, student ministry assistant at Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, Birmingham, said Youth Group at Home has been great for their students.

“Like all churches, this pandemic has altered how we do church and ministry,” she said. “During this season of not meeting together in person, we are incredibly grateful for Andy Blanks and YM360. By using Youth Group at Home, our students have been able to hear timely, gospel-centered messages that have then led into thoughtful discussion.”

To access the live feed on Wednesday nights at 7 or to access recordings from previous weeks, visit