MT 21 Gospel-Driven Business: Cornerstone Real Estate International

Realtor Alisha Chen presents a check to a ministry on behalf of the Asian Real Estate Association of America.

Ministry Today commends a different group of kingdom-minded people or organizations each year in our MT21 issue. In 2014, when we launched MT21, we honored churches and ministries that were influencing the 21st-century church.

In 2015, we highlighted 21 congregations that were "culturally diverse on purpose." This year, however, we're taking a different approach and naming 21 businesses whose leaders are a witness for Christ in some way through their professional platforms. From cupcake makers to insurance agency owners to roofers, we have covered a wide range of businesses in this year's MT21 feature.

Today, we are highlighting Cornerstone Real Estate International (

Alisha Chen, owner of Southern California-based Cornerstone Real Estate International, credits her faith in God for her phenomenal success in real estate. A petite but bold woman, Chen says her success is evidence that God has a sense of humor.

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"Most people who know my story are in awe because I hated sales," Chen says. "Sales was a bottom choice as far as a career, and now I'm loving it."

Chen holds numerous degrees and worked as a project manager for a spacecraft company and as a nurse. While a nurse, she took a part-time job at a real estate office.

"I learned that serving is listening to what people need and not telling them what they want to hear," she says.

The owner encouraged Chen to get her real estate license. She did and quickly became a top producer.

"I've been able to plant seeds of Jesus in people more than in any other career I've held," Chen says, noting that most of her clients are from China or Taiwan, or they're Muslim or Hindu. "I realized that 80 percent to 90 percent of my income is generated not from Christians—but from the toughest cultures I've had to deal with—(people from) Muslim and Hindu cultures who trust me." Chen says she's excited about how she's transformed money from secular sources to use to advance God's kingdom.

"I have seven different projects that are between $5 million and $10 million where they are asking me what they should do with the money," she says. "I've proposed an idea to create a foreign-national, elementary, Christ-based school where their children can learn character the Christian way."

Chen also has a prayer meeting every Wednesday at her office, and has given away hundreds of copies of The Purpose-Driven Life. She also has launched an online show called Faithworks Cafe to teach the biblical principles of business.

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