How Much To Keep

The Growing Generosity of Jack and Mary Ann Byeman

“It’s not about how much should we give, but how much should we keep.”

This is how Jack and Mary Ann Byeman explain why generosity has never been determined by how much or how little they have. From the very beginning – regardless of their circumstances – they’ve been guided by their Scripture-based belief that it all belongs to God.

“Everything we have is a gift from God, 100 percent,” he explains. “You don’t have to have a boatload of money to give any of it away.”

That philosophy drove them as newlyweds to give what they could to their church and other ministries, even as they were starting new careers and raising a young family.

“We had a will not too long after we were married,” he says, then adds with a chuckle, “which is pretty simple when you don’t have anything.”

Nearly 50 years later, with three grown children and after a successful career as the chief financial officer of a Boeing Company segment, Jack and Mary Ann are delighted to direct even more time and resources to charity. Together, they are as quick to volunteer at their church as they are to pull out the checkbook.

“For quite a few years, we have been thinking our giving ought to be well over the typical 10 percent,” says Jack. “It’s certainly easy to do that at our stage in life, and we think it is appropriate.”

The Byemans turned to Barnabas Foundation to help them create a comprehensive charitable plan that will continue to honor God and care for the needs of their family, well beyond their lifetime.

As the Byemans continue to pay attention to God’s Word and their changing circumstances, they are prayerfully evaluating what the Lord would have them to do next.

“I don’t think it’s proper to decide how much we’re willing to give,” concludes Jack. “Instead, we’re looking at how much we need to keep of what God has given us.”