When Dave Lillo-Tynes left his paid role at an organisation adjacent to Hillsong megachurch, he was burnt out and disconnected from loved ones.
Mr Lillo-Tynes, who studied at Hillsong College, said a complex set of circumstances led to a diagnosis of clinical depression and general anxiety. Not least was the "whatever it takes" attitude he learnt at Hillsong.
The pastor-turned-tech expert grew up at an evangelical church in Canberra, but regularly travelled to Sydney for Hillsong events as a teenager.
"I went along to a lot of big events like Hillsong Conference. From the get-go, I really saw a lot of exciting, inspirational stuff coming out of Hillsong," Mr Lillo-Tynes said.
He studied at Hillsong College, which is renowned for producing Pentacostal vocational workers, from 2005 to 2007, before returning to work in Canberra.
He was later recruited to work for Youth Alive, which is a national movement for young people attached to Hillsong. Here, Mr Lillo-Tynes was in charge of large events designed to gather attendees.
"When you're in the thick of it like I certainly was, you're just really focused on changing the world, but I was neglecting my own well being and mental health," he said.
"It was all about believing for the best and just working really hard and hoping good things would happen. I found myself super burnt-out physically and mentally."
Mr Lillo-Tynes left his work at Youth Alive in 2015 as a result. He has now spoken on a new SBS documentary, The Kingdom, about his experience.
In a conversation with Mr Lillo-Tynes' mother and documentary host Marc Fennell, the Newcastle resident faced how his time in the megachurch affected his family.
"My [Christian] parents didn't go to Hillsong and they were always a little bit suspicious of it," Mr Lillo-Tynes said. "Some of that stuff was really hard to hear. That story would be so common for many other families.
"The team that produced the documentary were really great to work with and respectful of hard conversations. It was a lot of fun," he said.
When asked if he still had a faith, Mr Lillo-Tynes said he "strayed from black and white answers these days".
"I think church, broadly, can be so great and so beneficial when it is at its best," he said. "In some cases, it becomes the thing that really hurts people. That is not what we want.
"It would be really good for [churches] to have a reset," he said. "What is it that really constitutes having a faith? Doing all these things just doesn't seem like it's the answer. For me, I'm trying to work all of that out now."
The Kingdom will air on SBS On Demand from Thursday June 8 and run on SBS on Sunday June 11 at 7.30pm.
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