If you do not know the original composer and singer of the song, ‘Blessed be the Lord God Almighty’, then I dare say you are wrong:) This is reintroducing to you a man of God who has blessed the whole world with his spirit filled melodies. 40 years down the line, Bob Fitts is still at the forefront of music ministry, taking God’s healing to the nations in all simplicity, humility and faithfulness. When I think Bob Fitts, I think Darlene Zschech, Don Moen, Nathaniel Bassey, Chris Delvan and many others with their unique, yet similar styles and their stellar anointing, bringing down God’s presence fluidly. Bob certainly has a heavenly inheritance to convey. So, take a seat and glean from his wisdom. Enjoy!
1. Bob Fitts has become a household name. It’s a name that has been associated with worship and bringing people closer to God. At the same time, Bob Fitts is a man who sees himself a certain way. Tell me about yourself, Bob.
It truly has been an honor to be a part of leading people in worship for about 40 years now. I think probably the best way to describe how I see myself, is to say that I am just one of billions of people around the globe, and throughout history, who has been saved, healed, set free, inspired, blessed and restored through the amazing Good News of God’s love and forgiveness through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. I am constantly amazed at this overwhelming love that comes so freely from God toward all mankind, and feel myself exceedingly grateful to be able to exalt Jesus and His goodness around the world.
2. How did you discover your calling at a very young age?
I was about 17 years old when I experienced a very special personal renewal in my relationship with Jesus. It was at this time I believe my purpose and calling to music and ministry came alive, and I began simply using my gift in song to help lead worship in Bible studies and in churches around my hometown. I can say for certain now in hindsight, that it was this fresh revelation of just how awesome my God is, and how amazing His love is for me and for all mankind, was what propelled me into ministry at a young age.
3. With over 30 years of ministering through music, certain songs must have rung true in your spirit more than others. What would you say is the most amazing song you ever composed?
I am not by any means a prolific writer; however, I very much enjoy finding ways to express my relationship with Jesus through songwriting. There are several I’ve written that are special to me: one is the song “Sacrifice”, and the other a song called “Gethsemane”. The heart of our Christian faith is found in the awesome sacrifice that Jesus made for us at Calvary. I wrote “Sacrifice” when my wife and I first had children, and I began to ponder the amazing gift that God gave to us in His Son, and how very profoundly difficult it must have been for Him to observe Calvary. The other song is similar, in that the song “Gethsemane” is the story in song of how the night before Jesus was crucified was when the true sacrifice was made in the garden when Jesus yielded Himself to being separated from His loving Father. Such profound pain and passion, all for us!
4. Many music ministers have different ideas about getting an income from their ministry. How did you decide that you were not going to charge for singing?
I believe, and have been taught to believe by my very loving earthly father, who has been in ministry all his life as well, that God is a good provider, and that our trust must be in Him and Him alone for financial provision. My Dad used to say to me….”Never charge people to minister the love of God to them”. I took that advise to heart, and have sought to find ways throughout my involvement in music to both serve, and walk in the generosity, which is the hallmark of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. A friend once told me “God is a good employer, and He’s not a cheap or stingy provider”. I have certainly found this to be true!
5. Every person called to minister in song has a specific message to deliver to God’s children. How did you discover the inheritance you were supposed to convey to God’s children and the world in general as a minister of God?
I think every person has a specific gifting from God, and that walking in that destiny is something that takes a lifetime of discovery in Jesus. God has given us such abundant life, and as such, I have been constantly amazed at the way He unfolds His purposes for us continually throughout life. Having said that, I believe that one specific anointing God has placed on my life is in encouraging and building up the Family of God through song, and declarations based in the amazing grace and goodness of our God and His Gospel. The message God has given us is “GOOD NEWS”, and it has been my joy to find ways in music and teaching to magnify this good news, which becomes a source of profound encouragement to all who receive it.
6. How do you write your songs? Do words come first or does the music come first?
People have asked this question for years, and actually I have found that for me there is no formula for song writing. I write songs in a number of ways, sometimes lyrics first, sometimes melody first (“As We Worship” is a song I co-wrote with Cathy Carter Heiser, and this song was melody first. “In Love With You” is a song I recently wrote which was lyric first). There are also times I write songs when both lyric and melody come at the same time (Blessed Be The Lord God Almighty). I am convinced that the best songwriting comes from simply setting aside time for intimate fellowship with God. I believe it is His tender heart that is the source of all creation, and creative expressions.
7. What is worship to you?
Big question, and one that would take a whole book to explain, which I am hoping to begin working on this year. Having said that, simply put, ”WORSHIP IS SIMPLY RESPONDING TO THE AWESOME, OVERWHELMING, PERFECTLY PERFECT LOVE THAT GOD HAS FOR EACH ONE OF US INDIVIDUALLY”. When we see how profound God’s love is for us, one can’t help but respond in praise and worship.
8. Marriage is the first institution that God created, and as such it is pivotal to an individual’s destiny. What in your opinion is the role of marriage in ministry?
Regarding marriage in ministry, I can’t really say that I have a strong opinion regarding the relationship of marriage and ministry. I do recognize that there are many men and women who have ministries who are not married. I must say however that having been married now for 38 years, I am convinced for sure that two is better than one, and having a life partner is certainly a big plus for anyone called to ministry. I think I would encourage anyone called to ministry to ask God to bring that very special person into their life (if they feel they are to be married) as it is such an expression of how God loves us.
9. How do you think Christian artistes should differentiate between singing for popularity and singing for ministry?
I don’t think Christian artists should make their purpose to become popular at all. Just find what God’s purpose and favor is in your life, pursue that for His Glory and God will give you all the popularity you can handle!
10. What advice would you give to new singers who want to break out in ministry?
Advice to people wanting to get into singing ministry; Make your relationship with Jesus the thing that defines you, not your gift. The gift is something HE gave you, so offer it back to him by using it, investing in it (schooling if necessary, acquiring whatever equipment you might need, etc), but always make your relationship with God, the defining aspect of your life, not your gift or calling.
11. How do you decide on what aspects of God’s word to sing about?
I utilize the teachings that my pastor gives each week at Church as one very important source for subject matter in song writing. I find that creative people very much need be intellectually and creatively stimulated, and one of the best ways to experience this is to find the Church God has called you to be in, become an active participant in the life of the fellowship, and each time your leadership teaches, consider this a word from God to be walked out in your life and as a result an inspiration for your music crafting!
12. Tell me what you understand by the anointing to heal and its relationship with music
From a Biblical basis, healing is the heritage of all believers (“They shall lay hands on the sick and they will recover”), and isn’t in any way special to musicians. However I am convinced that the gift of song is one way that the Holy Spirit stirs our faith, and as such releases us to healing and all kinds of other miracles. It’s not the song, but rather what the song stirs in us that releases miracles. As a worship leader, Christian writer or musician, our purpose is to point the way to Jesus, which releases our faith and miracles take place.
13. Who is your favourite musician?
Wow, my favorite musician? I have loads of people I highly esteem in Christian music, but would like to mention someone who many people today may not recognize, but who is a songwriter that powerfully impacted my life. Her name is Annie Herring, and she, along with her brother and sister were a trio called “The Second Chapter Of Acts”. Annie was the lead singer/songwriter of the group, and her love for Jesus, and constant inspiration to write as a result, were profound influences and encouragement to me as a young musician and songwriter.
14. What is your favourite song?
Loads of favorite songs, but one that I love written by Annie Herring is called “The Easter Song” which is a fabulous song of the victory Christ won over death for all of us.
15. What do you see when you think about the future of praise and worship in these end times?
I see Revelation 7:9-11 with regard to worship in these end times. As believers we all know that as the darkness seems to get darker, the light begins to shine brighter and brighter. In these last few decades, as worship has become a worldwide phenomenon in terms of the sheer numbers of people declaring in worship their love for God, it is becoming abundantly clear that God is preparing a massive choir of Saints from all generations, all nations and people groups, to come together for one purpose: to bring glory to the God of our Salvation. These are amazing days of Grace we are living in, and the choir is beginning to assemble all over the globe!!! AMEN, AMEN, AMEN.
9After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Revelation 7:9-11 NKJV
#Event: Michael W. Smith at The Covenant Place!