The Manhood Line by Mike Ramey



While the Depression-that-no-one-wants-to-admit-we-are-in continues, the end of the school year is rapidly approaching. Schools across the land are getting hammered with firings, layoffs and a variety of hiring and pay freezes. Not just the ‘great’ schools but ALL schools--whether they be private, parochial, public or charter.

And the teachers said: “AMEN”.

However--left out of the discussion is the fact that a lot of school WASTE has been exposed to public light and forced to be explained and cut. In New York City, millions of dollars have been wasted on ‘rubber rooms’--places where teachers are sent to do little more than play solitaire on their laptops while awaiting outcomes of various disciplinary matters. Meanwhile, in some 17 states, school has been cut to four days a week due to funding shortages. In Texas, textbooks are being re-done to offer a balance of ‘Darwinism’ against the Creation account that is contained in the Bible.

There is more as the depression continues to deepen. Libraries, museums, public parks, and recreational facilities are being cut because of the high unemployment rate, lack of tax revenue available for ‘special’ projects, and the like. If we get a hot spell this summer--coupled with high teen unemployment and lack of recreational options--we’re going to have a mess in many cities.

That is…unless we encourage and train new leaders to step up to the challenge.


A few years back, I read a short article written by a man who had grown weary of people whining about a lack of leaders in our land. The focus in the article was simple: “Why don’t those who are crying for leaders become leaders themselves?!”

This thought IS quite revolutionary in our modern era.

Doubt me? Take a good look at our modern entertainment fare--even some labeled ‘faith based’. The leadership role of husbands in marriage have been taking a beating. Single parents are portrayed as being incapable of leading. In other arenas sports figures can’t ‘get it right’ without a multi-million dollar contract. Pastors would rather preach a social gospel rather than Christ’s gospel to keep the pews filled. Our political figures would rather justify their deal making and spending projects to keep the public voting for them. Thus, when someone does ‘step up’ and lead in a honest, straight forth and--heaven forbid--biblical manner, folk suffer from ‘jaw drop’.

No…there is not a shortage of leaders. In reality? There is an overabundance of lying. There are people being content to stick their hands out and get an entitlement in the form of a check, a grant, or a program to ‘do for us,’ that which we used to do for ourselves. When we had little or nothing, it was amazing how many people found the time to raise their families, honor God, go to church, do well in school and stay out of trouble with the law. The REAL truth? America has gotten drunk from spoon feeding from the medicine bottle marked ‘ease and comfort without responsibility’. Sadly folk would rather be wrapped up in the beautiful lie, rather than sobering up and dealing with the ugly truth: Leadership involves stretching one beyond our modern level of lies.


Brothers, here are three points on leadership that should fire you up to become all that God has meant for you to become. Once you realize that you don’t have to ‘settle’ for handouts; IF you get the glimpse of your own potential, and; should you realize that you are not just created to creep along and merely exist--but put back and thrive--THEN you will become A leader.

Let me give you a tip, right from the gate: Real leaders don’t have to await ‘validation’ from the outside world to be acknowledged or recognized as leaders.

True, we live in an information age…but we also live in an age that gives more props to moral cowards! Some of us have been suckered into believing that one must have a ‘blog’, or a webcast, or hundreds of thousands of hits in cyberspace in order to be ‘recognized’ as a leader. Balderdash! REAL leaders set their agenda. Leaders have the determination in themselves to become their best, do their best, and achieve and be upright even if no one recognizes their efforts, skills and abilities.

Alright…let’s move forward with the three tips.

1. Leaders are WILLING to be taught! A man who is not willing to be taught is a man destined to be on the begging end of life. A man who is unwilling to read, to think clearly, and to learn how to apply himself in an upright manner is not going to go very far when life gets rough.

2. Leaders READ more than what is ‘expected’ of them! It is disheartening to witness so many young men and older brothers who have become satisfied in becoming functional illiterates! Men who are more involved in gadgets, the sports pages, and porn rather than developing sober thinking! The world does NOT revolved around what some ‘team’ did last night. This will NOT help you get a job, raise your family, nor find the right woman to marry. Doing what is ‘expected’ of you and not growing is the hallmark of a social slave! Business is BOOMING in the slave markets of America today, and many men have no clue how they have become neutralized and marginalized because of their lack of reading and thinking skills.

3. Leaders CONQUER failure and fear! These twin terrors have immobilized many men over the years. They ‘had’ a lot to offer and ‘could’ have been a leader…but something got them off-track. So you didn’t get ‘the job’, or you lost ‘the job’…there are other jobs our there! So your city is cutting back on library funding…take some money out of your pocket and buy some books for OTHER clubs and organizations who work with youth! In other words brothers…lead from the front facing the guns rather than settling for being a P.O.W. of your failures and fears.

We need you…on the front lines TODAY!

RAMEY is the Pastor of The Forward Church, Indianapolis, Indiana. THE MANHOOD LINE appears on fine websites and gracious blogs around the world. To correspond, email © 2010 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications.

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Ramey is married and resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a Christian, an Ordained Minister and KJV Bible Teacher. Since the 1980s, Ramey has won--or helped to win--multiple journalism awards and citations (including 3 CASPER awards). He holds a Police Citation for Citizen Bravery from the Indianapolis Police Department (1986) presented by the late Mayor William H. Hudnut III, and an award as ‘Best New Internet Writer’ (2003) “Black Men In” from Mr. Gary Johnson, Publisher.

His career also includes serving as an award-winning broadcast reporter, producer and TV/Radio talk show host in the Indianapolis market since 1981. In addition, Ramey has served as staff writer and section editor for The Indianapolis Recorder, and a freelancer for The Indiana Herald. Ramey has also served as a guest Op-Ed writer for The Indianapolis News, a staff writer for The Indianapolis Star, and a freelancer for BOTH The Associated Press and USA Today Newspaper (Gannett).

In business as an Anti-Gang Specialist & Consultant since 2007, Ramey is the Modern Street Gangs Specialist of “The Gang Line”. He has been interviewed in the U.S. and abroad on the dangers of Modern Street Gangs. Ramey is a Certified Modern Street Gang Specialist, with Law Enforcement (2006), Non-Law Enforcement (2010) and Gangs & Cults (2017) certifications, plus endorsements in K-12 Gang Issues (2010) and Transnational Gang Tactics (2010). He has held workshops, trainings and consultations with and for street-level/school-based personnel. He carries Specialist ratings in the area of Cult/Occult Crime, Transnational Human Trafficking and has served as a national/transnational consultant to various faith-based anti-gang ministries.

Ramey has also served as a veteran substitute licensed teacher (1986-2011), a college instructor, a Probation Officer (Intensive/High Risk & School-Based 2001-2007) with the Marion County Juvenile Court and a peer grant reviewer of anti-gang grant programs for the U.S. Department of Justice (2010). He also created, designed and taught the course UM-190 “Modern Street Gangs: Developing Urban Ministry Strategies” in 2009 and 2010 at Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana for those who desired to serve Jesus Christ in an Urban Ministry environment. Ramey also served as a post-production consultant for Chick Publications’ anti-gang comic: “Black Angel”. It had a 2013 national release, with an international Spanish-language version released in 2014.

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