We had the good fortune of connecting with Larissa Pena and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Larissa, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Upon graduating college and delving into the “real world” I quickly discovered that there is no such thing as a perfect balance. What we have the ability to do as individuals is create healthy rhythms for our lives. How we learn these rhythms and from whom we learn them from is essential. As a person who thrives in community and values mentorship, I am always looking to someone who is years ahead of me and in somewhat of a place that I would like to see myself in the future. Not just someone that I admire because of title or position, but someone who has found a way to create healthy rhythms in their life regardless of what their job title requires of them. I have worked around incredibly healthy leaders and cripplingly unhealthy leaders. The catalyst between the two is how they choose to prioritize their families in the midst of their work obligations. I believe that my family is my first ministry, and above all else, I strive to live my life prioritizing my family above anything that I do.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Faith-Based content creator and a preacher.

I create videos geared toward youth and young adults where I share fashion inspiration with an emphasis on modest style. People get a bit thrown off when I explain that I am a preacher but dress the way that I do. Some have the idea that if you are in ministry you have to dress with long skirts down to your ankles and turtle neck shirts. But I am a firm believer that you can look fresh from head to toe while still dressing modestly. Along with my expression of fashion and style, I love to encourage my audience through Scriptures and words of encouragement. My love for Christ is at the foundation of everything that I do.

Outside of the social media world, I am passionate about helping young people discover their purpose and helping lead them into a relationship with Christ. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching students flourish into the young men and women that God has created them to be. I am currently helping build a youth ministry from the ground up at a local church plant here in the Frisco/Prosper area. I get to disciple students and preach the Gospel. I am enjoying the flexibility to minister at other youth groups and churches when given the opportunity.

My journey into content creation began at an unexpected time much like many others. Two years ago, when the world felt like it was coming to an end, my husband and I were pastoring a youth and young adults ministry. It wasn’t long until we found ourselves working from home. It flipped everything we thought we knew about ministry in a positive way. We learned to use social media as a tool to help us connect, minister, and digitally meet with our students because we were no longer able to meet in person. It wasn’t long before I found myself on a trending app called Tiktok. After a bit of trial and error, I began posting specifically about being a woman in ministry. I mixed in trending content with modest fashion inspiration for different speaking venues. It wasn’t long until I started gaining some traction, but not for the reasons I had expected. There were those that loved my style and choice of clothing, but there was also a discouraging amount of people that were upset simply because I was a female pastor. To my surprise, most of the people appeared to be other christians and even women of all ages. I started seeing a mixture of comments comprised of blatant sexism, negativity, and misinterpretations of Scripture. But rather than looking at this as a reason to stop posting, it ignited a fire to create more content explaining why women have a place in ministry. It illuminated a need for both non-believers and believers to become more Biblically literate in order to understand this concept, so I used my platform as a place for this. All throughout Scripture, we can see that Jesus always gave women a place at His table. But in this generation, sometimes you have to pick up your own chair and carry it to the table everyone else is sitting at.

My hope is that the people that stumble across my page would see authenticity and feel welcomed. Regardless of what walk of life, religion, or background, everyone is welcome. All too often we have negative representations of Christians that are hateful and condemning, I hope that people will see that being a follower of Christ is far from that. In the process of creating content, I have come in contact with numerous young girls who feel a call on their life for ministry but have been discouraged by family members, church leaders, or pastors. And there are those that want to begin a relationship with Christ and have no idea where to start. I have the honor of sharing the love of Christ with these young people and encouraging them in their relationship with Christ or their journey into ministry. There is no direct message, or email that goes unseen or unheard. I am so thankful for any opportunity to minister to people and see those moments as no small thing.

Throughout my short journey in ministry and on social media, I have learned that I have far more resilience than I could have imagined. I have had my fair share of being overlooked, underpaid, and undervalued as a women in ministry. And I have been torn apart by the words of other people on social media. But there is one thing that has helped keep me grounded in the midst of it all. That is the understanding that there will never be a title or a dollar amount that will ever equate to the value that I have in Christ. I am not worthy because of the money that I make, the position that I hold, or the follower count on my social media, but because I am a child of God. This is something that I have to consistently remind myself of because the process is far from easy. Life is hard and people are mean and let you down, but the only thing that I have control over is how I treat people in return. And there really is nothing more fulfilling than unashamedly walking in the purpose that God created me for such a time as this.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
That’s a great questions!

If friends are in town, I have to show them an incredible view of the Dallas Skyline. A great place for this is at the second story of Saint Roccos, an authentic and delicious Italian spot.

For a great view within the city, I will always recommend the rooftop of Statler Hotel. There you will get breathtaking views and even an opportunity to take a dip in the pool if the weather permits.

My husband and I love taking our friends that come into town to Grand Scape in The Colony. You can do anything from ride a ferris wheel, play VR games, and do some go-karting. We’ve always had luck on those claw machines inside Andretti.

For an outdoor experience, I would recommend the Dallas Arboretum. You can catch some butterflies, walk along the beautiful gardens, and take in the nature.

If you like Hispanic food, Gloria’s is always a go-to. Amazing food and great service from beginning to end.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would not be able to pursue my dreams at the capacity that I have if it weren’t for the consistent encouragement and support of my husband Luis. In every season, he has stood behind be pushing me to be all that I am created to be.

Aside from my husband, I would not be the young woman that I am today if it weren’t for the two women in my life that have moved the sun, the moon, and the stars for me to have a future like I have today. Those women are my everything, my best friends, and my greatest supporters, my mother and grandmother: Mayra and Josefita.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge all of the leaders, mentors, and counselors that have helped me navigate life, marriage, ministry, and everything in between. I am so thankful for the people that God has strategically placed in my life to help me get to where I am today.

Instagram: Larissaaa_95

Youtube: Life With Larissa

Other: Tiktok: @Larissapena95

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