I actually prayed in 1992 after I knew without a doubt that the Watchtower was NOT the truth. I prayed and I asked God "ok, now what? I had not gone to the meetings regularly in a long time while I was researching things. I was going to stay unchurched because I did not want to be involved in religion. I prayed one day and felt the Holy Spirit leading me to Calvary Chapel Riverside California which is called "Harvest" Greg Laurie is the pastor there. I was nervous the first time, but after I researched Calvary Chapel doctine I served on different ministries there and it was a truly blessed experience.
I have been involved in Calvary Chapel's ever since. I married a pastor and we pastored a small IFCA Community Church. Now we are full time theology students at Calvary Chapel Bible College and we will go wherever God sends us. But if it is to pastor a church again, it will be a Calvary Chapel.
This is how I would size up any church if I was shopping;
Do they have charitable outreach ministries like food banks, helping hands ministries, convescelent ministries, have or support homeless shelters..etc
Do they promote or support missionaries, if so, what type?
Do they have a dress code? (forget it)
Look for legalism. Look for friendliness. It is ok to be critical. After what we have been through with the Watchtower we have to be very critical. And even if we do settle in at a new Bible based church we have to watch for erroneous doctrine that might slip in.
The Watchtower brand of false doctrine is nothing new. Aryanism has been around for 2000 years, they just repackaged it.
Does the worship music move you? It should. Worship is a very important part of even going to church. Calvary Chapel is contemporary and utilizes many musical talents. Drums, guitars etc. The pipe organ and old hyms are hard to sing to and really take part in for me it was anyway.
If you believe Genisis 1:1, you deserve to be in a regular fellowship of like minded believers.
Never give up! Keep researching. ::WAVE to my Calvary Chapel family on this thread!::