For reconstruction of controlled cell division in a minimal cell model, or protocell, a positioning mechanism that spatially regulates division is indispensable. In Escherichia coli, the Min proteins oscillate from pole to pole to determine the division site by inhibition of the primary divisome protein FtsZ anywhere but in the cell middle. Remarkably, when reconstituted under defined conditions in vitro, the Min proteins self-organize into spatiotemporal patterns in the presence of a lipid membrane and ATP. We review recent progress made in studying the Min system in vitro, particularly focusing on the effects of various physicochemical parameters and boundary conditions on pattern formation. Furthermore, we discuss implications and challenges for utilizing the Min system for division site placement in protocells.