Defining terms for “prophetic presbytery” is a good beginning point. The concept is being discussed, but the concept also has variants forms of meaning. Why? Because of usage of the terms in church polity and applications of the terms that are inconsistent with their use in Scripture.
We will be Biblical. We will function according to original design and intention.
The term “prophetic” refers to communication of revealed insight that applies specifically to a person, place, time, or condition. It is possible to prophesy to the wind, to the land, to the king, to a person, to a generation, to a nation. Prophetic refers to communication, however, so it is part of a process that results in writing, speaking, acting in a way that communicates, or through artistic expression communicates something revealed by Holy Spirit.
When this prophetic function comes in a presbytery, the prophetic function is being applied by experienced leaders set in place to represent in a kingdom manner.
The term “presbytery” comes from a root word for “old” but when applied to leadership has a sense of experience and representation. The simple term for “older man or woman” has a different meaning when applied to a group of representative leaders. The root word is used for the term “ambassador” twice with reference to Paul and other leaders. It has both gender forms.
Paul uses the term when writing Timothy, and this casts more direct light upon the Bible meaning and function:
“Don’t take lightly or neglect the charismata that was given you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.”
Both terms are used to describe a function of prophecy and leadership that represents the kingdom, of leaders sent to represent Jesus with authority and power equal to their assignments. The marks of these leaders would be experience and assignment. They prophesy, so they function in leadership as apostles or prophets. The group functions together, in this instance, to bestow upon Timothy a charismatic gift that Holy Spirit has decided to give Timothy.
Who can function on a prophetic presbytery like this one? Well, that would be someone who can prophesy a gift to an emerging apostle. Other prophetic presbyteries would function at the level of the prophetic leadership the people in the presbytery.