I have been going through this thought for a while now about the difference between being a "Servant" and being a "Volunteer." There is a difference and below are a summary that does a great job of explaining my thoughts.
Rory Noland in his book, Heart of
the Artist, (Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-22471-3) discusses the
difference between those who volunteer out of obligation to serve in the church
and those who feel called by God to serve. Noland says “that there is a
deeper level of commitment, joy, and reward with those who know their calling
is from God.” He then lists differences between volunteers and those
called of God:
see their involvement at church as community service, but people called of God
see it as ministry.
whine about what it’s going to cost to serve, but people called are committed
shrink back from resolving relational conflict, but people called of God seek
to resolve relational conflict for the sake of unity in the church.
look upon rehearsal/practice/meetings as another commitment they’re
obligated to fulfill, but people called of God look forward to rehearsal/practice/meetings
as another opportunity to be used by God.
do no outside practicing or preparation, but people who are called of God come ready
to serve and a performance as prepared as possible.
are not open to constructive criticism; they get defensive about it. But
people called of God are grateful for feedback because they want to be the best
they can be.
feel threatened by the talent of others, but people called of God praise Him
for distributing gifts and talents as He chooses.
want to quit at the first sign of adversity or discouragement, but people
called of God dig in and persevere.
find their main source of fulfillment in their talents and abilities, but
people called of God know that being used of God is the most fulfilling thing
you can do with your life.
can’t handle being put in situations in which they’re going to be stretched,
but people called of God respond to God’s call with humble dependence on Him.
Noland summarizes by saying that the difference between volunteering and
being called of God is that “someone who has that sense of calling from God is
more ministry minded. God never intended ministry to be the responsibility of
the chosen few who do ‘full-time Christian work.’ God has equipped all
believers to do the work of ministry.” (Ephesians 4:11-12) (taken
from The Heart of the Artist, 70-74)